Start-ups: help us improve AI, robotics, biotech and cybersecurity for the defence of Australia

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Media Release by Australian Defence Science, Technology and Research

Defence is inviting start-up companies to share their ideas with leaders in defence, academia, business and industry at the inaugural Australian Defence Science, Technology and Research (ADSTAR) Summit in Sydney and online from 20-22 July.

A unique opportunity exists for start-ups to participate and pitch your ready-to-go innovation to Defence and summit delegates at the ‘Start-Up Alley’.

‘We want to hear from startups that have an idea or innovation that could enhance our defence force’s capabilities or help to keep our defence personnel safe,’ says Professor Tanya Monro, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist. ‘We are especially eager to build partnerships with those working with artificial intelligence and machine learning, biotechnology, cyber security, space, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and hardware and software development.’

‘It’s a unique opportunity to connect your ideas with a range of potential defence applications,’ says Professor Monro. ‘You never know where your innovation might find a new application in support of defence.’

‘The central theme of the summit is ‘resilience’ in our defence forces,’ says Professor Monro. ‘Resilience is the ability and capacity for human-technical systems to quickly adapt and recover from unexpected interference, disruption, adversity, and threats. ADSTAR seeks to harness clever Australian science and technology and create new partnerships to build this resilience.’

Some of the areas being explored are:

  • AI–human interactions and trust-building
  • developing more-resilient people and teams in adverse conditions
  • smarter sensor networks to monitor chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and other threats
  • 3D printing in combat: is it practical to manufacture parts in contested environments?
  • navigation without GPS and satellites
  • protecting satellites from harm from space junk or enemy action
  • and many other topics.

Australian and international speakers at the summit include:

  • Chief Scientific Advisor UK Ministry of Defence, Professor Dame Angela McLean
  • US Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Ms Heidi Shyu
  • Director NZ Defence Technology Agency, Dr. David Galligan
  • Director of STELaRLab at Lockheed Martin Corporation, Dr. Tony Lindsay
  • Head of Defence and National Security, Executive Director Ai Group Defence Council. Ms Kate Louis
  • First Assistant Secretary, Head Technology, Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce, Department of Defence, Dr Todd Mansell
  • Chief Executive Officer, Trusted Autonomous Systems, Professor Jason Scholz
  • US Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Dr. Stefanie Tompkins
  • Director General Strategy and Planning – Air Force, Air Commodore Gretchen Fryar
  • Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Cathy Foley
  • Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro.

The ADSTAR Summit will be a hybrid event at the International Convention Centre, Sydney and online.

For more information, full program and to register for the ADSTAR Summit and Start-up Alley, visit