Prime defence contractor BAE Systems Australia has today launched a program to help realise the potential of Australian academic research.
The contractor, which employs over 3,500 people across Australia over 25 sites, has set aside $10 million over the next decade to develop a network aimed at engineering scholarships plus internship and undergraduate placements with industry.
The initiative, called the Joint Open Innovation Network, will also see the creation of new defence-focused courses coupled with targeted research and development.
The network will include an innovation laboratory that will be jointly funded by academic partners, providing a secure facility to allow industry and academia to work together to advance defence technologies.
According to BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips, technology and innovation is essential to developing the Australian economy, and the network will seek to support that objective while developing local defence talent and capabilities.
“By creating the Joint Open Innovation Network with our university partners, we will foster the development of cutting edge technology to meet the future defence needs of the country and, in so doing, help underpin a sustainable economy by growing export opportunities.”
Starting in 2017, the initial focus will be supporting the upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) and the development of future JORN and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia have signed on as foundation partners, with the network open to other academic institutions and industry participants.
Technology firm Hewlett Packard and Dedicated Systems Australia, a supplier of embedded system software, firmware and hardware, will also help equip the laboratory.