The Commonwealth government has tasked a local company with developing micro-grid technology to power modern defence operations.
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QinetiQ has secured a $5.4 million contract via the Defence Innovation Hub to deliver a deployable micro-grid designed to address an increase in demand for power in the changing battlespace.
The firm is expected to work alongside the University of Melbourne, leveraging advanced energy management algorithms.
“Investing in innovative ideas generated by Australian companies and research organisations shows the Morrison government’s commitment to building a sustainable and globally competitive sovereign defence industry,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“At the same time, we are developing cutting-edge capability for the Australian Defence Force.”
According to Minister Price, the technology could also draw interest from international stakeholders.
“The government recognises the ingenuity within Australia’s innovation sector and is delighted to partner with organisations that can bring these ideas into reality,” she added.
Liberal senator for Victoria James Paterson said the contract would support the broader push to enhance sovereign defence capabilities.
“Australia is at the centre of a dynamic and changing region characterised by rising powers, strategic competition and military modernisation,” he said.
Senator Paterson added that the investment would deliver advanced and integrated solutions to emerging ‘grey-zone’ threats, including espionage, cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.
This latest award under the Defence Innovation Hub comes just a month after the Commonwealth government launched an independent review aimed at addressing shortcomings in the innovation, science and technology strategy.
David Peever, the former managing director of Rio Tinto Australia, has been tapped to lead a comprehensive review of science, innovation, and technology-oriented Defence initiatives in a bid to identify ways to more effectively deliver next-generation capabilities to the ADF.
Among Peever’s responsibilities will be reviewing the governance, management and financing of all Defence-funded innovation programs, including the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub.