$19 million in contracts awarded to companies developing tech for ADF use


A second round of contracts through the Defence Innovation Hub this week has been announced, with nine companies awarded $19 million on Thursday to develop new technologies for use by the Australian Defence Force. 

Among winners (a full list is reproduced below) were: 

  • RUAG Australia, awarded $2.43 million to continue development of metal additive manufacturing techniques to repair components, 
  • robotic manipulator company Blueprint Lab, which earned $1.04 million to develop a remotely-operated system for performing underwater tasks, and 
  • Defendtex Research Labs, with a $1.84 million contract to develop “an uncrewed ground vehicle for potential use against enemy armoured vehicles.”    

(A recent interview with Blueprint Lab co-founder and CEO Paul Phillips published on this website can be read here.) 

The largest single contract, worth $5.31 million, went to RFTEQ.

Defence industry minister Melissa Price said that this was for development of “a unique counter-improvised threat solution that could detect complex threat signals and enhance the protection of Army personnel and equipment.” 

The round of contracts follows a $23 million round involving ten companies announced on Tuesday.

The Defence Innovation Hub was announced in 2016 under the former Turnbull government’s Defence Industry Policy Statement. It is described as one of the flagship defence innovation programs and with a mandate to invest in projects that will “enhance Defence capability and grow the Australian defence industry and innovation sector.”

Most of its contracts so far have been awarded to SMEs for technology developments, which are ready to enter the engineering and development stages.

Last week it was announced that the Hub will seek submissions covering three new key focus areas, beginning July

  • Guided weapons and explosive ordnance, 
  • Integrated air and missile defence, and 
  • Undersea warfare.


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Organisation State Contract Value

(GST incl.)

Description of innovation
RFTEQ Pty Ltd SA $5.31 million To develop a unique counter improvised threat solution that could detect, identify, and neutralise complex threat signals to provide an increased force protection capability.
QinetiQ Pty Ltd VIC $3.63 million To develop a thermoelectric heat recovery system for Navy vessels that could offer improvements in energy, fuel efficiency, range and endurance.
RUAG Australia Pty Ltd VIC $2.43 million To continue the development of additive technologies that enable the reliable and repeatable repair of damaged metal components. If successful, this technology could offer an improvement in operational agility while reducing lifecycle operating costs.
Defendtex Research Labs Pty Ltd VIC $1.84 million To develop an uncrewed ground vehicle that could offer a precision strike capability against enemy armoured vehicles.
Sentient Vision Systems Pty Ltd VIC $1.74 million To develop an electro-optical camera array system that could be used at a high altitude to enhance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Boresight Pty Ltd ACT $1.28 million To develop affordable and expendable swarming aerial target drones with improvised or dedicated counter-small uncrewed aerial system capabilities.
Arkwright Technologies Pty Ltd SA $1.07 million To develop a vibration monitoring system for Navy vessels that could reduce the vessels life-cycle operating and sustainment costs.
Blueprint Pty Ltd NSW $1.04 million To develop an advanced expeditionary system for remote underwater intervention that could reduce risk to personnel through the ability to perform tasks remotely.
Daronmont Technologies Pty Ltd SA $965,000 To develop a passive radar technology that could be integrated for maritime vessels and enhance situational awareness.


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