Defence Innovation Hub priorities

Defence publishes its innovation priorities to help innovators plan their research and development activities. The Defence Innovation Hub’s innovation and investment priorities for the 2018–19 financial year are as follows (in priority order).

  1. Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare, Space and Cyber stream

    This priority continues the 2017–18 focus on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (ISREW) enabling joint decision support, cyber and joint integration effects, and adds social media exploitation, automated dynamic use of spectrum monitoring and switching, proximity electronic support/electronic attack (including development of electronic warfare open architectures), and artificial intelligence.

    In support of these capabilities, the Defence Innovation Hub is particularly interested in innovative approaches to:

    • enhancing situational awareness through improved intelligence collection, analysis, communications, navigation, targeting and surveillance
    • integrating, analysing and interpreting large amounts of data across all operating domains, and applying this in uncertain, complex and rapidly evolving environments, while reducing the reliance on human involvement
    • better understanding the online, digital and cyber environments, to identify and predict risks to strategic interests in order to support and guide decision making
    • better understanding and managing the electromagnetic environment to: facilitate greater mobility and information sharing; reduce interference while improving access to bandwidth; and support enhanced decision making
    • reducing the reliance on human intervention in the management of spectrum support
    • strengthening Defence’s cyber capabilities to ensure resilient and robust systems
    • harmonising data and technology architectures to support scalable and expandable capability.
  2. Key Enablers stream

    This is a continuation of the 2017–18 priority, with the removal of autonomous identification technologies and the addition of quantum technologies, IT automation, machine learning/cognitive computing, cloud adoption, alternative navigation and positioning, and rapid manufacture.

    In support of these capabilities, the Defence Innovation Hub is particularly interested in innovative approaches to:

    • expanding and improving C4 components (command, control, communications and compute) of Defence forces to deliver robust, resilient and persistent capabilities across the operational domains
    • developing and exploring the use of quantum computing to meet current and future Defence needs for both enterprise and military applications
    • leveraging emerging opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning to support complex decision making and reduce the need for human intervention
    • developing and leveraging enterprise-wide cloud capabilities, with consideration of applicability to operational contexts, to deliver enhanced data management outcomes
    • enhancing future energy management and resilience in the deployed environment
    • exploring opportunities to provide enhancements to the physical and cognitive capability and capacity of ADF personnel and ongoing health management.
  3. Land Combat, Amphibious Warfare and Special Operations stream

    This priority continues the 2017–18 focus on potential special operations capabilities, and adds enhanced human performance, robotics and autonomous systems.

    Land forces require the mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness capabilities to deploy quickly, achieve their objectives and return home safely.

    Defence is seeking innovative proposals for leading-edge equipment to bolster ADF land forces in these capability areas, including amphibious warfare. The Defence Innovation Hub is seeking innovative approaches to:

    • developing advanced protection systems for vehicles and individual soldiers that do not inhibit mobility
    • developing technology underpinned by automation, autonomy and autonomous systems to provide capability enhancements to the land force
    • enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of combatants in hostile environments through the use of new and emerging technologies
    • delivering improved signature management and disruption technologies.

The remaining priority areas are:

  1. Strike and Air Combat stream

    Defence is seeking to develop a fifth-generation air force and is seeking innovative ideas to increase the operational effectiveness of individual air combat capabilities and the operation of air defence systems including early warning and control, electronic warfare and airborne weapons systems. Ideas on improved technologies that sense and understand the operating environment are encouraged.

  2. Maritime and Anti-Submarine Warfare stream

    Defence is interested in technologies, systems and processes that increase the survivability and effectiveness of all maritime platforms. This might include but is not limited to signature management, autonomous platforms, advanced environmental sensing systems and advanced concepts for crewing and human machine integration.

  3. Air and Sea Lift stream

    Most platforms Defence operates in this capability stream are off-the-shelf solutions but Defence would like to receive innovative proposals that can increase the operational performance and/or reduce the cost of ownership. This might include prognostic health management, data analytics or intelligent logistics planning and tracking systems.

Unexpected or unforeseen technologies or ideas

True innovation calls for blue sky thinking and Defence welcomes any idea. If your innovation proposal does not neatly fit into one of the six capability streams, but you feel it would be of value for Defence to consider, submit your proposal within the “None of those listed” category within the Priority Innovation Needs. It is still important to consider that your idea is related to Defence capability. If in doubt, our CDIC business advisers are happy to chat to you about your idea and steer you in the right direction.

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