Lauren Harmsworth - video transcript

Defence Innovation Hub Industry Update

Lauren Harmsworth: Thank you all for having me here today. And hopefully you can see me behind the podium. It is the downside of being so short. So as Alex has said, the Australian government has developed a range of policies and frameworks to both support and grow our domestic defence industry. As is outlined in these policies, we recognise that Australia’s defence industry can’t sustain itself on the needs of the Defence Force alone. Exports and diversified opportunities are really a key part of our vision for achieving a stronger and more globally competitive Australian defence industry and also in creating a defence industry that’s able to support our defence capability needs in the years to come.

To support this vision, the Australian government has launched the first ever Defence Export Strategy in January of this year. The strategy that we released puts in place a comprehensive system to support industry to build their ability to export, identify export opportunities, and achieve export success. It takes a more systematic approach to identifying export opportunities, including looking at opportunities right through from early-stage innovation through to Capability Acquisition. It also provides $20 million in additional funding from 2018 to ‘19 to support Australia’s defence exports.

Delivering this strategy will require closer and more coordinated collaboration between Australian defence industry and all levels of government. This includes with Austrade, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability. But it also includes more coordinated efforts from within Defence, including close collaboration between the Defence Export Office and the Defence Innovation Hub. Delivery of the Defence Export Strategy is closely linked to the work of the Innovation Hub, with exports enabling greater innovation and productivity in Australian defence industry.

It’s also really important that we know about innovation proposals and technologies coming through the Hub now so that we can be ready to support companies when they are ready to export. When industry is ready to export, there are a range of initiatives under the strategy that can be used to assist companies in their export endeavours. One of these, as Alex mentioned, is the Defence Export Office, which was opened in Canberra in April of this year and is really the focal point for driving greater defence export success.

The office is responsible for a range of tasks, such as trade exhibitions and missions. For example, we have a team Defence Australia delegation heading across to Euronaval in France shortly and then to Indo Defence in November. Developing market intelligence on foreign government capability requirements is another really key function of the Export Office, as is working with industry and government to deliver a collaborative approach to achieving export success.

Another area where the government is providing assistance is through exposure to foreign markets. We’re taking a more strategic approach to trade shows and missions, including developing strategic multi-year campaigns for priority markets and capabilities. By doing this, we will be able to provide informed, intelligence-driven advice to the Innovation Hub about potential future export markets for technologies once they are matured through the innovation process.

We’re also expanding the Australian Military Sales Catalogue with expressions of interest for the next iteration of the catalogue opened last month at Land Forces in Adelaide. The catalogue reflects decades of Australian innovation and showcases Australian defence industry products and services which may be of interest to foreign governments. To help promote Australian industry products and services like you see in the catalogue, we’ve also appointed an Australian Defence Export Advocate for the very first time, the former Minister of Defence David Johnston, which some of you will probably know. It’s Mr. Johnston’s role to provide high-level international advocacy and domestic engagement and outreach, so essentially to advocate on behalf of industry.

In closing, I also wanted to highlight that government’s support of any export opportunity is conditional upon your compliance with the legislative framework. It’s important that you understand your obligations in this area and seek advice from defence export controls early, which is separate to the Defence Export Office. Thank you. And I’m more than happy to take any questions during the Q&A session.

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