The Australian government is investing $10 million in innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that will strengthen Defence’s military capability and support highly skilled jobs in Australia’s defence industry. The investment supports the government’s new Blueprint for Critical Technologies and Action Plan, released by the Prime Minister. It also contributes to the development of a sovereign critical technology capability in AI, one of the Government’s nine listed critical technologies of national interest.
Minister for Defence Industry and Science and Technology Melissa Price today announced 10 new Defence Innovation Hub contracts funded under the government’s two-year, $32 million COVID economic stimulus package. The package was established to support jobs growth in the defence industry while navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“These contracts will help develop exciting and new AI technologies,” Price said. “This will be achieved through the use of Defence’s intelligence mission data to improve situational awareness, and intelligent virtual reality to enhance simulation, modelling and training for our ADF personnel. Overall, these technologies have the potential to improve how our military train and operate. Attracting businesses from the AI sector to partner with Defence is a positive step towards achieving this.”
Among the successful proposals is the South Australian-based company Lumination. It has been awarded a $1.9 million contract to develop an immersive visualisation platform using virtual reality and training simulation technology to provide highly realistic training scenario experiences. New South Wales company DroneShield received a $945,000 contract to develop an agile software system with the potential to detect and relay unknown signals directly to the operator. This would allow ADF personnel to focus on categorising unknown radio signals.
Oleg Vornik, CEO at DroneShield, said “DroneShield is traditionally a counter-UAS business, and this will remain a core part of our operation alongside our rapidly emerging Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence lines of work. However, we are eagerly expanding our broader defence industry capabilities to become a sovereign ‘one stop shop’ to service Commonwealth defence requirements as the Federal Government adds $250 billion for “capability investment” over the next 10 years. We are building this locally through accelerated research and development, aided by projects like this latest Defence Innovation Hub contract, and conducted by our team of over 40 engineers who analyse and build algorithms that result in real-world artificial intelligence (AI) products. This ‘gate zero’ contract symbolises Australia’s opportunity to become increasingly self-sufficient by establishing a high-tech, local defence industry capable of operating complex and expensive technologies in the today’s world of robotic and grey zone warfare.”
A $669,000 contract has been awarded to Victorian company Real Response to develop a highly realistic medical training simulator using AI. If successful, the simulator could adjust the difficulty of medical scenarios by measuring the stress response of trainees and enhance learning.
“These contracts will boost Australian businesses and build a strong sovereign capability that can develop and integrate world-leading AI technology into Australia’s Defence Force,” Price said.
The Defence Innovation Hub invests in a broad range of technologies at different phases of maturity from the early concept stage through to demonstration, prototyping and integration. Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at:www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au. More information on the Government’s Blueprint for Critical Technologies and Action Plan is available at: https://www.pmc.gov.au/resource-centre/domestic-policy/action-plan-critical-technologies and https://www.pmc.gov.au/resource-centre/domestic-policy/blueprint-critical-technologies.
|Organisation||State||Investment Value |
|Description of innovation|
|Lumination – Technology For Education Solutions Pty Ltd||SA||$1.9 million||To develop an immersive, portable visualisation platform that delivers AI augmented scenarios using virtual reality and training simulation technology.|
|Simbiant Pty Ltd||SA||$2.2 million||To develop a radio frequency generation, detection, characterisation and classification system based on AI.|
|Solinnov Pty Ltd||SA||$1.4 million||To develop a portable radio frequency monitoring solution through the development of machine learning technology to identify, classify and locate radio frequency emitters in complex operating environments.|
|Droneshield Limited||NSW||$945,000||To develop an AI enabled software to detect, track, classify and relay contact signals from multiple input feeds, and provide a combined output to the operator.|
|Mellori Solution Pty Ltd||NSW||$920,000||To develop an innovative software application to automate radio frequency analysis from multiple sensors across the electromagnetic spectrum.|
|Ignition Immersive Pty Ltd||VIC||$914,000||To develop a system that enables the generation of photorealistic imagery in a virtual reality environment using AI to do this automatically, in real-time.|
|Real Response Pty Ltd||VIC||$669,000||To develop a highly realistic medical care training simulator using AI that could enhance training and learning by adjusting the complexity of training scenarios based on visual and biometric feedback from the trainee.|
|CAE Australia Pty Ltd||NSW||$644,000||To develop a deployable augmented reality 3D virtual modelling tool that is designed to assist Defence with AI enabled decision support to planning.|
|CruxML Pty Ltd||NSW||$946,000||To develop a real-time Specific Emitter Identification system using advanced machine learning algorithms and new techniques in computer architectures to achieve identification and classification of radio frequency signals in real time.|
|Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems|
|NSW||$464,000||To develop an easily deployable Electronic Support Measure system that enables the Sensor Association Fusion Engine (SAFE) technology to form a common operating picture from multiple sensors.|