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Solider firing rifle in test environment

Kord Defence wins contract for US Marine Corps to test and evaluate its technology

Based in Canberra, Kord Defence is a world leader in the provision of cutting-edge interface control technologies for the defence, homeland security and law enforcement markets.

The company provides soldiers and personnel on the front line with a better, faster and safer way of controlling their many electronic devices – anytime and anywhere.

Today’s frontline soldiers carry numerous electronic devices on their body and weapon but all these devices have separate individual controls that make them difficult to operate quickly and accurately and increase the cognitive load on the soldier.

Dr Peter Moran, Managing Director, Kord Defence

"This reduces the soldier’s situational awareness, accuracy and responsiveness – a very dangerous thing in combat."

To address this serious problem, Kord Defence developed its patented Rifle Input Control (RIC) Technology to help people in hazardous and stressful situations control their electronic devices – without having to look at a display or take their hands off what they are doing.

"The RIC provides soldiers with a fast, simple and safe way of remotely operating all their electronic devices from one central location without taking their eyes off the task or hands off their weapon – EYES ON, HANDS ON," Peter said.

"It is a unique and cutting edge capability that is simple to operate, ergonomic and rugged, and customisable and configurable to meet different user requirements.”

Over Kord Defence’s 10-year period, Dr Moran has been the driving force behind the company’s growth. To help take it to the next level, he engaged the Growth Services team from the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

Business Facilitator Grant Peden and Adviser John Mills worked with the management team at Kord Defence to develop and help implement a customised Growth Plan.

The Growth Plan identified and prioritised a two-year action-plan for growth, which included access to services and professional learning opportunities delivered by specialist Business Advisers, Business Facilitators and external consultants.

These services were tailored to Kord Defence’s growth opportunities and included training in Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR – a set of United States Government regulations on the export and import of defence-related articles and services).

The company also engaged a globally recognised IP strategy expert, who helped the Board and senior management develop and execute an IP strategy.

"Completing the ITAR training and developing our IP strategy in parallel was highly beneficial," Peter said.

"What we learnt from the ITAR training was directly relevant to the IP strategy, which has a real commercial focus – it not only allows us to identify, value and protect our IP but also to leverage it commercially, which is extremely valuable for a small company like Kord Defence."

With key target customers like the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it was important that the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) was also involved in assisting Kord Defence.

Business Facilitator Grant Peden introduced Kord to Business Advisers from the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, which Peter said was extremely helpful.

They connected us with the right people in Defence, and helped us investigate funding opportunities, such as the Defence Innovation Hub, that could be used to further advance our Technology for the benefit of the Australian Defence Force.

Dr Peter Moran, Managing Director, Kord Defence

"The advice and assistance we received from the Growth Services team was invaluable. The engagement allowed us time to plan and helped us develop the capabilities, strategies and connections we needed to realise our growth opportunities in Australia and the US."

On 23 December 2016, Kord Defence was officially advised by the US General Services Administration that the company had been awarded a US$2.25m contract to provide Rifle Accessory Control Units for testing and evaluation by the US Marine Corps.

Since being awarded the contract, the company has established a US office, hired local staff and is currently finalizing arrangements for manufacturing.

KORD receives $635,000 through the Defence Innovation Hub to develop an innovative wireless systems control technology to enhance Army capability.

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