Two universities have secured new funding to develop and build Australia's sovereign defence industry. 

The University of Adelaide has been awarded $50 million under the Federal Government’s Trailblazer Universities Program to work with researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and 52 business partners to develop new defence industry technology and 100 new defence products. 

The University of Adelaide and its industry partners will match the Government funding by more than 3 to 1, investing $188 million into the project. 

Professor Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide says: “The University of Adelaide is proud to be named alongside our partner, the University of New South Wales, to assist the country’s economic recovery with the Defence Trailblazer: Concept to Sovereign Capability (CSC) project.”

“CSC will result in a profound and transformative change to our defence innovation landscape, and will meet a long-held ambition to build more sovereign capability for the Australian defence sector.

“The University of Adelaide will apply its research expertise in defence-relevant areas, notably quantum materials, hypersonic countermeasures, information warfare, space and artificial intelligence, to help improve Australia’s sovereign capability.

“CSC will grow Australian prosperity by creating new sovereign defence capabilities and strengthening supply chain resilience, all nested in the national interest.”

Vice Admiral (Retired) Professor Paul Maddison, Director of the UNSW Defence Research Institute, says: “The CSC is designed to transform the defence innovation ecosystem in ways that will enable research and industry innovators to quickly fix on Defence’s priority research challenges, rapidly secure capital for collaborative ideation, proto-type potential solutions, commercialise the winners, and accelerate the transition of competitive advantage capabilities into the hands of ADF operators deploying across a highly volatile geo-strategic environment”.

“Key to success will be stronger collaboration between government, industry and universities, built on a trust-based cross-sector culture anchored in shared risk, shared problem solving, shared success, and a shared sense of strategic urgency.”

The CSC project is the second Trailblazer bid to be endorsed and will receive a share of approximately $250 million in government funding.