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UNSW Canberra showcases leading Launch innovators

UNSW Canberra Launch on Northbourne collaborator Terra Schwarz, led by General Manager Amy Ormrod and founder Jan Marais-van Vuuren, has won a $420,000 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant to develop cyber technologies. Photo: UNSW

UNSW Canberra Launch collaborators have presented their capabilities, ideas and innovation to industry and to the Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, during the first UNSW Canberra Launch Capabilities Showcase on 23 October.

Since it opened in 2019, UNSW Canberra Launch on Northbourne has developed into an ecosystem of defence, space and cyber SMEs. The innovative precinct fosters collaboration between industry, academia and government

Minister Price, who joined a virtual tour of the event, said, “Today I witnessed the incredible potential of Australian small and medium sized businesses in this space. The … Government recognises that sustained investment in research and innovation is critical to ensuring our ADF maintains its capability edge.”

The companies showcased at the UNSW Canberra Launch on Northbourne event included:

  • Skykraft, which is building a constellation of satellites to monitor air traffic globally with operations commencing in 2023;
  • Fifth Domain, which has worked with DST to deliver the annual ADF Cyber Skills Challenge;
  • Terra Schwartz Cyber, which is developing an Australian sovereign cyber-security system and which recently received a $420,000 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant to develop an Australian sovereign cyber-worthiness system;
  • Cognitive Advantage, which is working on technologies around the ‘internet of things’; and
  • Viden, which is undertaking important high-tech cyber work in the defence sector.

The Australian Government is investing almost $3 billion in Defence innovation, science and technology over the next decade, including $1.2 billion for the Next Generation Technologies Fund and $800 million for the Defence Innovation Hub.

“These investments will continue to underpin Defence’s commitment to innovation, encourage engagement from Australia’s university and industry sectors, and will complement the national skills agenda,” Minister Price said.

UNSW Canberra’s Launch on Northbourne is a shared work space facilitating engagement between industry, government and academia to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology.

UNSW Canberra Rector Professor Michael Frater said that the growth of Launch on Northbourne after almost 12 months of operation was evidence of the incubator’s success.

“UNSW Canberra is one of Australia’s leading centres for defence and security capabilities. Launch on Northbourne offers the University an opportunity  to partner  with and  support  tech  start-ups,  while  giving  our  students  and  researchers pathways to further their work,” Professor Frater said.

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