Shake up continues of defence innovation


The federal government’s shake up of defence innovation continues as the new Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) has commenced operations.

The accelerator is to focus innovation efforts on capabilities that the Australian Defence Force could use or see themselves using in a few years’ time.

Previous schemes such as Defence Innovation Hub grants were seen as isolated from the procurement function, with innovations funded by defence not leading to actual purchasing.

According to the government, ASCA will take a new and ambitious approach to transitioning game changing ideas into capabilities that give the soldiers, sailors, and aviators of the ADF an asymmetric advantage.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy (pictured) said: “The Accelerator is up and running less than three months since the Government received the Defence Strategic Review.

“It will unlock and ignite innovation from across the nation, bringing together the best experts from different sectors – driving change from within Defence to move at the pace and scale we need.

“This will mean faster acquisition and better links between Defence and industry to deliver the capabilities the soldiers, sailors and aviators of the Australian Defence Force need.”

The accelerator will depend on experts from inside and outside of Defence to lead targeted missions that respond to problem statements in order to solve some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.

This approach will call upon the best innovators from across the country to work in partnership with industry and academia to rapidly deliver highly targeted disruptive technologies.

The focus this month is on engagement though the Australian defence science and university networks, shortly followed by state based industry forums hosted by Interim Head, Professor Emily Hilder.

According to a statement these sessions will establish a culture of collaboration that will inform future partnerships and provide an opportunity to hear more about how to be a part of accelerating Defence capability.

The government is investing $748 million in ASCA over the next four years, and $3.4 billion over the next decade. This is an additional $591 million above planned spending on defence innovation over the decade.

Further reading:Defence innovation to be linked to purchasing – Conroy

Picture: Pat Conroy

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