A war chest emerges for the re-industrialisation of Australia

James Riley
Editorial Director

With Australia now set on a path of intensive re-industrialisation and tens of billions of targeted investment dollars being readied for deployment, attention has turned to identifying areas of specific Australian capability.

The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund and the re-aligned Industry Growth Program – unveiled in the May federal Budget – are the most consequential pieces of industry policy enacted in this country in decades.

Add to this the re-sculpted Defence innovation programs and the giant-sized funding elements attached to the AUKUS Pillar Two advanced capabilities program, as well as the commitments and focus on emerging ClimateTech innovation and you start to see the scale of opportunities.

The task now is in identifying where Australia has strong existing capability or strength in research in emerging technologies. And to better understand where there are capability gaps in areas of strategic importance to the national interest.

Across quantum technology and quantum sensing, artificial intelligence, remote automation and robotics, the materials sciences, photonics and countless other areas, Australia has important and demonstrated capability.

Many of these are across what would be called ‘dual-use’ technologies or innovations – emerging technologies that have potential applications across defence and civilian commercial applications and use cases.

The Capability Papers project is an InnovationAus.com initiative and aims to give exposure to these companies and capabilities across different parts of the innovation funding system.

The Capability Papers Showcase event at Parliament House in Canberra on August 3 will put a spotlight on some quite incredible Australian technology companies and will facilitate a discussion about pathways to commercialisation for dual-use technology ventures.

“Australia is a smallish market with limited resources. We cannot afford to have a siloed approach to building domestic capability,” InnovationAus.com publisher Corrie McLeod said.

“This half-day forum highlights some incredible, locally-developed products and services, but also some funding challenges and policy gaps that exist in this country,” she said.

The Parliament House showcase follows a Capability Papers event focused on Manufacturing and Energy Transition being held at the Australia Museum in Sydney on August 15.

The tabloid-sized hardcopy of The Capability Papers, a 70,000 word compendium of policies and proposals for building Australian domestic capability, will be launched in October.

The Showcase event at Parliament House brings together senior public service leaders, together with private sector CEOs from both startups and established suppliers.

The agenda includes discussion about the structure of the new Advanced Strategic Defence Accelerator at the Defence department, as well as outlining changes to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group aimed at making Defence procurement more responsive to local innovators.

Confirmed speakers for The Capability Papers Showcase event include:

The Capability Papers Showcase forum at Parliament House in Canberra will be held on August 3. You can reserve your seat here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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