Defence Cooperative Research Centre Now Open in Queensland

The Brisbane-based headquarters for the $50 million Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is now open, following a formal opening ceremony on the 4th of July.

The CRC is a hub connecting researchers from industry, academia, and government funded research agencies with small to medium enterprises to research and develop new technology for the Australian Defence Forces. The aim of the CRC is to enhance efficiency by enabling industry to collaborate in the defence industry more readily.

The founding members of the CRC are BAE Systems Australia, DefendTex, RMIT University, and Defence Science and Technology. The CRC is funded by the Federal Government Next Generation Technologies Fund.

The focus of the CRC is on Trusted Autonomous Systems, such as drones and robotic systems for remote combat operations.

The first three research projects concern themselves with maritime, air, and land defence technologies. These are led by Thales Australia, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems.

Queensland State Innovation Minister Kate Jones says the CRC is a boon for the region which has a long history of innovation.

“For more than 10 years, Queensland has been building a critical mass of expertise in the development of autonomous systems,” Ms. Jones said.

“We expect to see real innovative ideas come to realisation – that will make a real difference to our Australian Defence Forces and other industries.

“The defence forces have a large presence in Queensland and our strong defence capability makes us a prime location for this centre that will bolster our growing defence ecosystem.”

The CRC Is open to more participants than the founding members. Companies eligible to take part must be a company or research entity incorporated in Australia, or a Publicly Funded Research Organisation.

The CRC is a pillar in the Technology Fore sighting initiative pioneered by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, aimed at developing future capabilities and preventing strategic surprises.

The first CEO for the Defence CRC is Professor Jason Scholz. Prof. Scholz is a globally recognised research leader in cognitive psychology, decision aids, decision automation, and autonomy. He has produced over fifty refereed papers and patents related to trusted autonomous systems in defence.

Queensland is also the future home of the Australian Defence’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE), working on delivering advanced military vehicles for Defence.