NSW Defence Innovation Network launched

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The NSW government has officially launched the Defence Innovation Network (DIN), an initiative to foster greater collaboration between the state’s defence industry and its universities.

The DIN brings the together the defence industry and seven leading NSW universities, including the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, University of Wollongong, University of Newcastle and University of Technology Sydney.

The $5 million initiative is funded by the NSW Department of Industry and sponsored by Defence NSW and the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist.

State trade and industry minister Niall Blair said that the collaboration would help NSW realise the potential of its defence industry.

“Research and development is a key driver of innovation, and economic and defence benefits will flow to NSW and Australia thanks to the Defence Innovation Network bringing together our best researchers and our defence industry,” Blair said.

“Even more important are the lives of the men and women serving in the Australian Defence Force. Through the creation of new capabilities, the NSW government and its DIN partners are helping to ensure the safety of our defence personnel on the battlefield.”

Following the announcement of the initiative in October 2017, the NSW government has invested $2.6 million through the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to support its creation. The Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) and seven NSW universities have also provided investment and funding support.

“I’m pleased to announce today that another $2.4 million has been allocated to continue the NSW Government’s support for this vital initiative,” said Blair.

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW chief scientist and engineer, said that the DIN has so far provided $650,000 in project funding to solve problems in areas such as drone detection and the use of artificial intelligence systems for mine detection.

“NSW universities have diverse capabilities in defence-related technologies including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, aerospace, radar, sensors, signal processing, material sciences, quantum sensors and advanced human performance,” Durrant-Whyte said.

“These capabilities provide excellent opportunities for NSW defence businesses to accelerate their R&D and deliver innovative defence technologies to the ADF and our allies.”