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Land Forces 2018: Defence Innovation Awards


Recognised Innovation and Its Essential Role in Supporting Effective Defence

Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne presented the Land Forces 2018 Innovation Awards to winners in Adelaide on 5 September.

This is the third Land Forces exhibition to feature the Innovation Awards, developed by not-for-profit Land Forces organiser Industry Defence and Security Australia Limited (IDSAL). The awards are open to Australian companies or the Australian subsidiaries of overseas parent companies. The innovation can involve a new product or service or a new approach to business, with entries judged on their understanding of user needs.

Some of the highlights of the awards include:

The Land Forces 2018 Young Innovator Award and SME Innovation Award
Mr Angus Bean, DroneShield Limited – designer of the DroneGun Tactical
Mr Bean was largely responsible for designing the DroneGun Tactical, a fully integrated rifle-style safe countermeasure against a wide range of drones. In response to user feedback, he designed it to be much smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the DroneGun Mk2, but just as effective. Its design allows it to be highly portable and to disrupt multiple RF frequency bands simultaneously.

No damage results to the drone, which remains intact and available for forensic investigation. DroneGun Tactical was the recipient of two Innovation Awards.

The Land Forces 2018 National Innovation Award and Innovation Award for ISR & Cyber
Boeing Defence Australia Limited – Currawong Battlespace Communications Systems
Also gaining two awards in different categories, the Currawong Battlespace Communications System automates deployment and management for the Australian Defence Force, transferring secure data, voice and video between Australian headquarters and deployed forces globally. Extensive side by side development and testing conquered complexity, schedule and budget. This Australian technology has shifted the signals unit’s role from managing delicate links to supplying a dynamically optimised network resource.

Key programme features include:
• Agile sprint methodology
• Flexibility to adapt contract requirements and design
• Smart investment, growing Australian small businesses’ genuine capability
This innovative approach has delivered the world’s most advanced Battlespace Communications System with improved deployability, availability and performance; resilience to damage; and reduced equipment size, weight and power.

Highly Commended in the ISR & Cyber category was L3 Micreo and Defence – for the SILVERSHIELD System Development Collaboration

In 2017, as part of the Australian Department of Defence’s REDWING Programme Phase 2, L3 Micreo provided professional, specialist engineering resources to assist Defence in the development of the next-generation vehicle-mounted electronic force protection system to protect Afghan National Defence Security Forces from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Five specialist L3 Micreo design engineers were deployed from Brisbane to work within Defence Science & Technology (DST) Group’s facilities in Adelaide for a 10-month period through the design and prototype phases. It was a collaborative product development project and a new and unique way of Defence and industry working together. The outcome is SILVERSHIELD – an effective solution which inhibits remotely triggered IEDs.

The Land Forces 2018 Innovation Award for Combat Equipment & Mobility
DMTC Limited and Planet Innovation – Nplex – a Rapid, Field Deployable Diagnostic System

Australia needs a sovereign industrial medical countermeasures capability in order to be ready to respond to a range of natural or man-made threats, diseases and pandemics. This DMTC project, through its industry partner Planet Innovation, is investigating a range of novel technology improvements to enable rapid detection of security sensitive biological agents. The DMTC team’s solution, Nplex, offers a high-sensitivity diagnostic device that can quickly identify causative infectious disease agents at the point of care, reducing the time of diagnosis from hours or days to just 10-15 minutes and allowing appropriate response/treatment action to be taken immediately.

The project is also developing an in-country supply chain of capable, Australian-based SMEs to manufacture components that historically have only been sourced from overseas. In this way, the project is not only providing an important national health security capability but also creating new market and export opportunities for Australian industry.

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