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Defence Trailblazer Program launches with runs on the board

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UNSW Sydney and University of Adelaide partnership with industry is strengthening Australia’s defence capabilities and assets.

The Defence Trailblazer is officially launched today in Adelaide by Senator the Hon. Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development. The Program is a strategic partnership between UNSW Sydney and the University of Adelaide, with support from the Australian Government’s Department of Education. University researchers will work alongside industry in both Defence and civilian market sectors to translate research projects to successful innovation and manufacturing.

Announced in April 2022, the Defence Trailblazer Program is on track to strengthen Australia’s sovereign defence capability by upskilling the workforce and accelerating the delivery of leading-edge science and technology. It has already achieved significant headway across its two key Program focus areas: Workforce, Innovation and Culture, and R & D Acceleration Projects.

Assistant Minister Chisholm said the Defence Trailblazer: Concept to Sovereign Capability project will herald a new era of innovation for the country's defence industry.

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs, a keynote speaker at the launch, said UNSW is proud to work with the University of Adelaide, industry partners and Defence to lead research commercialisation initiatives that will strengthen Australia’s defence capabilities and assets.

“UNSW has a proud track record of commercialising research projects that develop into real-world outcomes. And we know that university-industry collaboration is imperative to ensure research is translated into outcomes that benefit all Australia,” Prof. Brungs said.

“Like our friends at the University of Adelaide, UNSW has a long history of partnering with the defence sector and is a leader in defence research, with strengths in space, cyber, hypersonics, quantum and autonomy.”

Read more: Defence specialist to lead Trailblazer

The Defence Trailblazer Program has already achieved milestones, including:

  • executing collaboration agreements with over 35 industry partners
  • launching the Defence 10x Accelerator Program powered by UNSW Founders
  • launching the Industry Research Program offering research degree scholarships codesigned by academia and industry to meet the most pressing challenges and needs of defence
  • consulting for the Cyber Security Upskilling & Assurance Program.

“The Defence Trailblazer Program brings together leaders from defence, academia and more than 35 industry partners who will work closely together towards our shared vision of strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capability,” said Defence Trailblazer Executive Director, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar.

“Together we will create a new trust-based cross-sector collaboration founded on shared risk, problem-solving, success and a sense of strategic urgency to meet the demands of an ever-evolving threat landscape.”

The launch event

Exhibits showcasing the technological capabilities of both universities will feature at the launch, as well as demonstrations from industry partners DTEX Systems, QuantX Labs and Silentium Defence.

Silentium Defence, a global leader in the design and deployment of passive surveillance systems, will exhibit their MAVERICK M-series radar.

“We are incredibly excited to have joined the Defence Trailblazer group of partners and to demonstrate the one-of-a-kind capabilities of our MAVERICK passive radars,” said Dr James Palmer, CEO Silentium Defence.

“Our technology provides next-level stealth to combat operations by enabling defence personnel to see without being seen, from ground to space.”

Keynote speakers at the event will provide insights into the Program’s vision, mission and key deliverables. They include:

  • Senator the Hon. Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education
  • Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President, the University of Adelaide
  • Professor Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President, UNSW Sydney
  • Dr David Kershaw, Chief Science Strategic Planning & Engagement, Defence Science Technology Group
  • Dr Scott Beinke, Research Engineer Associate Manager, STELaRLab, Lockheed Martin Australia
  • Dr Sanjay Mazumdar, Executive Director at Defence Trailblazer.

Read more about the Defence Trailblazer Program.

Media enquiries

Belinda Henwood

UNSW Corporate Communications

Tel: +61 412 270 034
Email: b.henwood@unsw.edu.au