Defence Trailblazer rolled out to boost Australia’s sovereign capabilities

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Image credit: Anthony Chisholm MP's Twitter

The University of Adelaide and UNSW Sydney have launched the Defence Trailblazer program, an initiative that seeks to boost Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities by upskilling the workforce and accelerating leading-edge science and technology. 

The program is a strategic partnership between the two universities and has received backing from the Australian Government’s Department of Education. 

Sen. Anthony Chisholm, assistant minister for educational and regional development, launched the program on Friday, 21 July. 

Chisholm said Defence Trailblazer presents an opportunity to help transform the defence innovation ecosystem. The program will convene defence, industry, and academic partners to accelerate the delivery of sovereign capabilities for the nation’s security and prosperity. 

Defence Trailblazer: Concept to Sovereign Capability project led by the University of Adelaide in partnership with UNSW will herald in a new era of innovation for the country’s defence industry,” Assistant Minister Chisholm added. 

The program was launched at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide. The event featured a distinguished lineup of speakers that included government and industry representatives who shared insights into the program’s vision, mission, and key deliverables. 

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs, one of the keynote speakers at the event, commended UNSW’s partnership with the University of Adelaide, industry partners, and the Australian Defence to lead research commercialisation initiatives that will strengthen Australia’s defence capabilities and assets. 

“UNSW has a proud track record of commercialising research projects that develop into real-world outcomes. And we know that University-industry collaboration is imperative to ensure research is translated into outcomes that benefit all Australia,” Brungs said. 

“Like our friends at the University of Adelaide, UNSW has a long history of partnering with the defence sector and is a leader in defence research, with strengths in space, cyber, hypersonics, quantum and autonomy,” the UNSW vice-chancellor added. 

The launch event featured exhibits that showcased technological capabilities from UNSW and the University of Adelaide, as well as demonstrations from industry partners DTEX Systems, Quantx Labs and Silentium Defence.