Thales Australia has partnered with South Australian small business Micro-X on next-generation technology supporting airport security management in the next stage of the Global Supply Chain Program.
Thales and Micro-X have signed a $10 million agreement to invest in the development of ultra-miniature x-ray systems. Thales will license Micro-X’s technology in three-dimensional x-ray imaging to develop the Thales high-speed airport checkpoint security system, which could significantly reduce wait times.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said, "This program is helping large defence companies like Thales identify opportunities to engage with innovative, high-tech Australian small businesses."
Thales’ new system, together with Micro-X’s next-generation technology, could increase the number of people processed at airport security checkpoints from 200 per hour to potentially more than 1,000.
"Importantly, it will also create Australian jobs and invest in the South Australian economy. With 30 employees at the Micro-X headquarters in Tonsley, a partnership like this demonstrates how small businesses in the Australian defence industry continue to produce world-class, innovative defence capabilities," Minister Price added.
The Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program involves working with multinational defence companies, or ‘primes’, to identify opportunities for Australian companies within their international supply chains. Since 2007, the participating GSC contractors have awarded over $1 billion of work to predominantly small-to-medium sized enterprises in Australia.
The GSC Program is based on the commercial needs of the primes. For companies that have a capability – such as machining or engineering – or a technology of interest to the primes, the CDIC can help facilitate access to the primes’ global supply chains. Not all companies will have a capability, product or service of interest to the primes.
The CDIC is managing the GSC Program on behalf of Defence and the eight prime contractors involved in the program: BAE Systems, Boeing, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Rheinmetall and Thales.
The primes are funded to establish a GSC team within their company to:
- Identify opportunities across their business units and at all technology readiness levels, and to provide these opportunities to Australian companies;
- Identify, assess and qualify capable Australian companies to be part of their global supply chain;
- Provide mentoring, training and regular feedback, including why a company was successful or unsuccessful in its tender;
- Organise meetings for the SMEs with key decision-makers within the prime and provide advocacy overseas, including at Team Defence Australia trade events; and
- Work with the other primes’ GSC teams to grow Australian industry, share information to boost exports, and reduce the burden on the SME.
More information about the GSC Program is available here.