Cyber security has been penned at the top of the list for the Department of Defence’s 2018/2019 investment priorities for its Defence Innovation Hub.
The Hub, which was launched in December 2016, refreshes its investment list of priorities on a yearly basis and has revealed that so far, it has attracted more than 510 proposals and signed 59 innovation contracts worth more than $77.9 million.
Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne, said the Government plans to invest $1.6 billion into the Defence industry and innovation during the next decade, including $640 million towards supporting the development of innovative technologies through the Hub.
“Transparency and clarity on innovation investment priorities provides greater certainty to industry, and allows industry and research organisations to plan their research and development investments,” Pyne said.
The Hub is currently seeking proposals aligned with its six capability streams identified in the 2016 Defence Integrated Investment Program.
Topping the list of priorities for 2018/2019 was intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, space and cyber.
Specifically, the Hub was interested in innovative approaches to improved intelligence collection, analysis, communication, navigation, targeting and surveillance; as well as integrating, analysing and interpreting large amounts of data across all operating domains.
Furthermore, the Hub is seeking to get a better understanding of the online, digital and cyber environments to help identify and predict risks to help support and guide decision making.
The Hub is also looking into ‘harmonising data and technology architectures’ to support scalable and expandable capability.
The second key priority was centered on key enablers - focusing on areas such as quantum technologies, IT automation, machine learning/cognitive computing; cloud adoption; alternative navigation and positioning; and rapid manufacture.
In further detail, the Hub wants to develop and explore the use of quantum computing across both enterprise and military applications; leverage emerging opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as develop and leverage enterprise-wide capabilities to help deliver enhanced data management outcomes.
In July, the Department of Defence invited research proposals from industry and universities with a view to enhance the cyber capabilities of the Australian Defence Force and understand the potential of cyber technologies, create prototype systems, and demonstrate the practical application of systems to Defence problems.
Earlier this year, the Department also signalled its intentions to pour $6 million into quantum technologies research to highlight its potential benefits and practical limitations.