Gov’t fast-tracks defence tech with $4 million initiative

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The Australian Government is set to fast-track the development and deployment of innovative defence technologies through a $4 million ‘pitch day’ initiative, reinforcing its commitment to a future made in Australia.

The pitch day, organised by the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA), a key establishment by the Albanese Government, aims to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a strategic advantage.

The inaugural pitch day’s theme, ‘innovative asymmetric advantage’, focuses on disruptive technologies with deterrence capabilities, the government said in a media release.

Industry participants can respond to an expression of interest, and selected companies will present their technologies or ideas to a Defence panel during the Australian Defence Science, Technology, and Research (ADSTAR) Summit from 17 to 19 September.

Following the pitch day, ASCA will offer development contracts valued up to $750,000 each, through a competitive process. The total value of these contracts is up to $4 million.

“With this week marking ASCA’s first anniversary, it’s only fitting we announce the inaugural pitch day, underscoring our commitment to supporting industry and ensuring our ADF personnel are equipped with the capabilities they need,” Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy, noted.

ASCA focuses on transitioning game-changing ideas into Defence capabilities by harnessing innovation nationwide.

He continued, “One year after the establishment of ASCA, we’re already seeing initiatives and local innovators getting the support they need to help grow our sovereign industrial base and contribute to a future made in Australia.”

This effort brings together experts from various sectors to drive internal Defence changes at the required pace and scale, leading to faster acquisition and improved links between Defence and industry.

These improvements aim to deliver the necessary capabilities to the soldiers, sailors, and aviators of the ADF.

The expression of interest period is open until 22 July 2024.

More information is available at ASCA’s website.