Autonomous Systems Research Centre gets go-ahead

NSW RESEARCH CENTRES, universities and companies are expected to play a significant role in the development of next generation defence technologies as part of a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

NSW Defence Advocate, retired Air Marshal John Harvey, said the new CRC would  tap into NSW expertise as part of national efforts to develop technologies to better equip and protect our defence forces, as well as open up new opportunities for industry.

The Federal Government will be investing about $50 million in the CRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems from its Next Generation Technologies Fund over the next seven years to support autonomous systems projects.

“This is the first CRC in the Commonwealth’s program with a specific defence industry focus,” Air Marshal Harvey said.

“The University of NSW, University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney are all contributing to the CRC’s operations, and one of Australia’s leading robotics experts, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte from the University of Sydney, was on the expert panel that helped create the new CRC,” he said.

Air Marshal Harvey said a number of NSW defence technology companies will be supporting partners in the CRC contributing their industry expertise in trusted autonomous systems. 

“These include Ocius Technology which has developed an unmanned marine vessel dubbed the ‘Bluebottle’ that is powered by solar, wind and wave energy, and that can be deployed at sea over months for wide area surveillance.

“Marrickville company Marathon Targets is also involved in the CRC. Marathon develops robotic targets for military marksmanship practice and has sold its technology to allied forces worldwide, including the United States Marine Corps.”

The NSW Government recently contributed $1.25 million to help establish a Defence Innovation Network to boost collaboration between universities and the defence industry. “Our Defence and Industry Strategy – NSW: Strong, Smart and Connected – has a strong emphasis on supporting defence scientific research and collaborating with other states, and the new CRC is a great opportunity to do both,” Air Marshal Harvey said.


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