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Defence’s innovation capabilities undergoes independent review

2 min read
independent review

The Department of Defence is undergoing a comprehensive and independent review to ensure that the organisation is more commercially driven and outcome-focused, giving the Australian Defence Force (ADF) access to the most cutting-edge capabilities in the world.

“We must ensure that we are taking full advantage of Australian innovations to maintain Defence’s capability edge while ensuring innovative businesses are given every chance of commercial success,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said. 

“We need a Defence organisation that can capitalise on the knowledge and skills of Australian industry and academia to develop mission-focused technology that can solve Defence’s unique capability challenges.” 

The review will examine the entire organisation to establish how it can effectively deliver more home-grown, innovative capabilities for the men and women of the ADF. 

Aside from this, the review also seeks to do the following: 

  • Strengthen and improve the links between academia and industry to solve capability challenges 
  • Simplify contracts that will support more rapid acquisitions and transitions from concept to capability 
  • Establish more effective commercialisation of Defence-funded research and innovation 

“Now, more than ever, we are looking to drive fit-for-purpose innovation where Australian industry and academia are partners in this critical mission,” Minister Price said. 

“The innovation is being jointly developed with taxpayers’ funds and Australians need to know we are investing their money wisely.” 

Minister Price announced that Rio Tinto Australia’s former managing director David Peever would lead the independent review and will provide a final report to Minister Price by the end of the year. 

The review will provide recommendations to the following: 

  1. Governance, management and funding of all Defence-funded innovation programs, focusing on the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub 
  2. Defence organisational structure, governance and funding of the Defence innovation ecosystem. 
  3. How the Defence innovation system be adapted to create a greater link between academia and industry to solve Defence’s unique capability challenges. 
  4. How to more effectively commercialise Defence-funded research and innovation and stimulate Australian innovation for the development of mission-focused technology solutions that could give Defence a unique capability edge. 
  5. Development of a simplified suite of contractual arrangements to support the rapid acquisition and transition from concept to capability. 
  6. Refinement, consolidation and streamlining of the research, innovation and technology development priorities and topics with the aim to strengthen the participation of Service Capability Managers to direct ‘mission set specific innovation. 
  7. The transition between Defence and other department’s innovation and manufacturing programs to support the continued development and commercialization of technology that does not meet a direct Defence requirement. 

The review is a continuation of Minister Price’s ‘five pillars’ approach that will create substantial change in Australia’s defence industry. 

Defence innovation programs, including the Next Generation Technology Fund and Defence Innovation Hub, will continue to operate as usual for the duration of the review. 

Source: Department of Defence Media Release. Content has been edited for style and length.


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