Raydon Gates, CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand, alongside Dr Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin’s chief technology officer, have confirmed that Melbourne will be the location for the company’s first R&D facility outside of the US.
The Bethesda-based security and aerospace company will invest an initial $13 million into the facility over the next three years, with staff numbers expected to grow to around 20.
“The decision to establish a multi-disciplinary R&D facility in Australia was partly based on Lockheed Martin’s own track record of research and development success with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and Australian Universities over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Jackson at a Melbourne-based event.
The STELaR (Science Technology Engineering Leadership and Research) Lab has been welcomed in by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews; the Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt; the Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan; Senator Stephen Conroy; and the Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.
“I welcome the opportunities that the Lockheed Martin's STELaR Lab will deliver for Australian industry, particularly in providing opportunities in advancing cutting-edge technologies,” Minister Pyne said.
“This will be the first centre of its type outside the US and will provide collaborative research opportunities with the Defence Science and Technology Group in the Australian Department of Defence, as well as universities and innovative small-and-medium enterprises.
“The 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement outlined government's commitment to building and harnessing the innovation potential of Australia's defence industry, and outlined a series of initiatives to support this.
"Later this year, the Turnbull Government will launch the new Defence Innovation Hub, which brings together existing Defence innovation programs to deliver a streamlined and agile approach to innovation.
“Together with the Next Generation Technology Fund, Government is investing more than $1.3 billion over the decade to build the innovation capabilities of Australian industry, academia and research institutions and to deliver innovative solutions for Defence capability.”