Defence Innovation Hub

The Defence Innovation Hub provides opportunities for academia, research organisations and Australian businesses of all sizes to put forward innovative proposals that can enhance Defence capability. It accepts proposals that are ready to enter different stages of the innovation process, from concept exploration, to technology development, to prototyping, to demonstration and evaluation. The Hub will invest $800 million to 2030 to mature and develop innovative technologies that can enhance Defence capability.

The Defence Innovation Hub’s competitive procurement process seeks to maximise the capability value of investments and provide opportunities for innovative Australian companies, by stimulating innovation through competition.

Open to all Australian businesses at all times, the Defence Innovation Hub applies transparent decision-making criteria to proposals, and maintains a strong focus on capability need.

What are the benefits of partnering with the Defence Innovation Hub?

The benefits of partnering with the Defence Innovation Hub are:

  • Companies can develop their ideas, and in the vast majority of cases entities retain their key Intellectual Property rights.
  • Through the award of an innovation contract with the Hub industry partners can enhance their business credentials with other potential investors and customers.
  • The Hub can facilitate the close engagement with Defence capability managers and build and organisation’s understanding of Defence capability requirements.
  • In some cases industry can gain access to Defence scientists and specialist Defence facilities, equipment and training areas.
  • Industry partners also have the opportunity to learn from Defence’s project management expertise.

How to prepare your submission

To have your innovation considered by Defence you can make an initial submission to the Defence Innovation Hub. If this is successful you’ll then be asked to submit a more detailed proposal.

Find out how to prepare an innovation submission.

Open call for submissions

You can submit a submission that aligns with Defence innovation priorities at any time. You do this by responding to the Defence Innovation Hub’s open call for submissions, known as a ‘Priority Innovation Notice’.

For more information about the priority innovation notice, including the submission terms, see the Defence Innovation Hub call for submissions.

Defence Innovation Hub priorities

Defence publishes its innovation priorities to help innovators plan their research and development activities.

From 1 July 2022, the Defence Innovation Hub will seek submissions for innovations that will strengthen specific defence capabilities in the areas of:

  • guided weapons and explosive ordnance
  • integrated air and missile defence
  • undersea warfare.

The key focus areas will be a high priority for investment and have been singled out to give industry more detailed information about specific capabilities.

Along with the focus areas, industry and research organisations will also be able to submit proposals across the domains outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan – Information and Cyber, Maritime, Air, Space, Land and enterprise wide enabling capabilities.

Submissions made before 1 July 2022 will be evaluated based on the Hub’s existing innovation priorities (see below), all submissions made after 1 July 2022 will be considered based on the new focus areas and operational domains. For more information on the new innovation priorities and specific capabilities Defence is seeking visit Defence Innovation Hub.  

1. Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare, Space and Cyber stream

This priority continues the focus on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (ISREW) enabling joint decision support, cyber and joint integration effects, and adds social media exploitation, automated dynamic use of spectrum monitoring and switching, proximity electronic support/electronic attack (including development of electronic warfare open architectures), and artificial intelligence.

In support of these capabilities, the Defence Innovation Hub is particularly interested in innovative approaches to:

  • enhancing situational awareness through improved intelligence collection, analysis, communications, navigation, targeting and surveillance
  • integrating, analysing and interpreting large amounts of data across all operating domains, and applying this in uncertain, complex and rapidly evolving environments, while reducing the reliance on human involvement
  • better understanding the online, digital and cyber environments, to identify and predict risks to strategic interests in order to support and guide decision making
  • better understanding and managing the electromagnetic environment to: facilitate greater mobility and information sharing; reduce interference while improving access to bandwidth; and support enhanced decision making
  • reducing the reliance on human intervention in the management of spectrum support
  • strengthening Defence’s cyber capabilities to ensure resilient and robust systems
  • harmonising data and technology architectures to support scalable and expandable capability

2. Key Enablers stream

This is a continuation of the Key Enabler priority, with the removal of autonomous identification technologies and the addition of quantum technologies, IT automation, machine learning/cognitive computing, cloud adoption, alternative navigation and positioning, and rapid manufacture.

In support of these capabilities, the Defence Innovation Hub is particularly interested in innovative approaches to:

  • expanding and improving C4 components (command, control, communications and compute) of Defence forces to deliver robust, resilient and persistent capabilities across the operational domains
  • developing and exploring the use of quantum computing to meet current and future Defence needs for both enterprise and military applications
  • leveraging emerging opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning to support complex decision making and reduce the need for human intervention
  • developing and leveraging enterprise-wide cloud capabilities, with consideration of applicability to operational contexts, to deliver enhanced data management outcomes
  • enhancing future energy management and resilience in the deployed environment
  • exploring opportunities to provide enhancements to the physical and cognitive capability and capacity of ADF personnel and ongoing health management

3. Land Combat, Amphibious Warfare and Special Operations stream

This priority continues the focus on potential special operations capabilities, and adds enhanced human performance, robotics and autonomous systems.

Land forces require the mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness capabilities to deploy quickly, achieve their objectives and return home safely.

Defence is seeking innovative submissions for leading-edge equipment to bolster ADF land forces in these capability areas, including amphibious warfare. The Defence Innovation Hub is seeking innovative approaches to:

  • developing advanced protection systems for vehicles and individual soldiers that do not inhibit mobility
  • developing technology underpinned by automation, autonomy and autonomous systems to provide capability enhancements to the land force
  • enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of combatants in hostile environments through the use of new and emerging technologies
  • delivering improved signature management and disruption technologies

4. Strike and Air Combat stream

Defence is seeking to develop a fifth-generation air force and is seeking innovative ideas to increase the operational effectiveness of individual air combat capabilities and the operation of air defence systems including early warning and control, electronic warfare and airborne weapons systems. Ideas on improved technologies that sense and understand the operating environment are encouraged.

5. Maritime and Anti-Submarine Warfare stream

Defence is interested in technologies, systems and processes that increase the survivability and effectiveness of all maritime platforms. This might include but is not limited to signature management, autonomous platforms, advanced environmental sensing systems and advanced concepts for crewing and human machine integration.

6. Air and Sea Lift stream

Most platforms Defence operates in this capability stream are off-the-shelf solutions but Defence would like to receive innovative submissions that can increase the operational performance and/or reduce the cost of ownership. This might include prognostic health management, data analytics or intelligent logistics planning and tracking systems.

Read next

Learn how to make an initial submission to the Defence Innovation Hub.

Find out how innovation submissions are evaluated and progressed by Defence.