$19m awarded for the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge

Universities and industry across South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and NSW have been awarded $19 million to develop technology to detect and defeat improvised explosive devices.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced the winners of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge, an initiative of Defence's Next Generation Technologies Fund that called on industry and academia to address improvised threats to Defence personnel and the public.

The successful proposals were received from the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, Flinders University and Queensland University of Technology, as well as Lockheed Martin, CSIRO, L3Micreo, DefendTex, Teledyne, Tectonica and RFteq.

"Over 200 submissions were received and 40 proposals were shortlisted before the final winners were selected," Minister Pyne said.

"Thirteen high-quality proposals from universities, industry and small business across five Australian states have been selected to develop technology solutions to combat growing threats to our nation’s security.

"These solutions will be delivered through a collaboration of 26 different organisations, representing a research effort spanning the national innovation enterprise."

South Australia took the lion's share of the funding with $5.5 million, leaving $4.5 million to Victoria, $3.9 million to Queensland, $2.9 million to WA and $2.4 million to NSW.

The projects, which will be developed over the next four years, will look to create innovative new Australian technology to counter explosive devices in war zones and other areas.

"The large number of proposals proves the depth of innovative ideas in the research community with the potential to support Defence capability," Minister Pyne said.

"The outcomes of the winner’s proposals will be developed over the next four years into a single, prototype threat detection and defeat system, led by Defence. 

"This will be a game-changing capability and I look forward to its implementation in saving Aussie lives and property."

$19m awarded for the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge
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