All revolutionary ideas were once considered unrealistic or unworkable – and, together with Defence Science and Technology – the ADF’s Force Exploration Hub aims to foster just these kinds of concepts. From hot-button topics like autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI) through to more niche areas like quantum computing, the group has recently called for proposals to help plug future capability gaps.
Working closely with service and civilian counterparts, the hub looks to generate, develop and test ideas. This work informs future Defence capability investment while building a unique and useful body of knowledge to support force structure plans and strategic assessments.
Currently, the Force Exploration Hub is seeking ideas to help forecast for a future capability and operating environment out to 2040 and beyond. Ideas that may seem disruptive, revolutionary, unrealistic or unachievable in today’s environment are what the hub is looking for to prepare the future Australian Defence Force.
These may include concept-driven models to achieve operational success, new design ideas for the joint force that are compelling, tested, and ready for further developments, or evidence required to contest or reinforce investment decisions that define the overall capability direction of the future force.
Areas of interest include:
- remote autonomous systems;
- artificial intelligence;
- additive manufacturing;
- quantum computing;
- geopolitical developments; and
- key technologies.
"We’re exploring how we can take science fiction ideas into science fact. A common trait is for people to underestimate what technology can achieve today and overestimate future technology, so it’s important to be creative," said Dr Nigel McGinty, research leader Strategy and Joint Branch.
The Force Exploration Hub engages with multiple thinkers to develop ideas, concepts and evidence to equip the future force to confront a world of accelerated change and uncertainty.
They construct alternative futures to see what situations the ADF could be fighting in and develop concepts in partnership with industry, allies and academics.