Awards: Defence, Dual-Use Tech and Space finalists

Stuart Mason

The Defence sector has long been one of the main driving forces in developing new industrial capability in Australia, with many products and services adapted and commercialised successfully.

The push for more homegrown manufacturing in the defence and space industries has intensified following the Covid pandemic, which put issues of sovereignty – particularly in areas of national security – into the spotlight.

Defence has often led the way in the development and commercialisation of new technologies, and this looks set to receive a boost thanks to the AUKUS agreement and further defence agreements with the US.

The Labor government has also recently launched the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator, which will provide the “missing link” between Defence and industry. It has allocated $3.4 billion to the accelerator over the next decade.

Many of the technologies first developed for Defence purposes are then commercialised for civilian use, known as dual-use technologies. With funding options available through Defence programs, this offers an opportunity to local tech firms to develop and receive support to eventually deliver it to a wider market.

The 2023 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence in the Defence, Dual-Use Technology and Space shines a spotlight on some of the best examples of this, highlighting products, services and innovations that are world-leading.

The finalists in this category are:

The InnovationAus Awards for Excellence 2023 winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 1 November, at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney You can book your tickets to the event here.

You can also purchase a table of 10 for the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence and have your logo displayed on the screens across the venues and in the event program as a ‘table sponsor’.

Behind the finalists:

GaN Lasers offers an end-to-end laser diode design, fabrication and packaging capability for clients who are using it across quantum, defence, industrial, biotech, scientific and display segments. The technology was developed by the NSW-based, ASX-listed BluGlass, a clean technology company researching and developing Group III nitrates for the development of new processes and equipment.

The gallium nitride (GaN) blue laser diodes are based on the local company’s proprietary low-temperature, low-hydrogen remote-plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD) technology. This technology provides significant advantages for the growth of GaN semiconductors. Since its launch, the company has achieved many technical world-firsts and has been granted nearly 100 international patents.

Diraq is aiming to bring its revolutionary quantum computing technology to the world. Developed by founder Andrew Dzurak during his tenure at the University of New South Wales in 2014, the company uses existing chip fabrication technology to power quantum computing. This means it can leverage 50 years of research and funding funnelled into the semiconductor industry to drive its developments with its quantum computing technology.

Diraq is a full-stack company which covers all aspects of quantum computing, and recently partnered with Q-CTRL to develop and provide access to its silicon spin qubit-based hardware.

DroneShield Limited’s new DroneGun Mk4 is the Sydney-based company’s latest offering to take down rogue drones. Using non-kinetic jamming, the pistol-shaped piece of hardware can be used by the military, law enforcement or civilian security to disrupt the control, navigation and videos of a number of drones simultaneously.

Using a point-and-shoot method, the compact and handheld DroneGun will result in the targeted drone either landing on the spot or returning to its operator, and can also disable a livestream.

The Brisbane-based Hypersonix Launch Systems is aiming to provide affordable access to environmentally-friendly aerospace technologies and systems for Defence and commercial applications. Specialising in hypersonic technology and scramjet engines, it was recently selected for the Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities program run by the Silicon Valley-based Defence Innovation Unit, part of the US Department of Defense.

Its core technology, dubbed SPARTAN, has no moving parts, is self-igniting, hydrogen-powered and 3D-printed, making it capable of reaching speeds from Mach 5 to mach 12.

The Cryoclock is the world’s most precise clock, being in error by just 1 second in 40 million years. Developed by the Adelaide-based QuantX Labs, the high-precision tool is the result of 20 years of research, and has a signal purity that is 100 to 1000 times higher than any other device, and has a time-keeping ability that is 100-fold better than the best solutions currently available.

The technology can be used for the extremely stable generation of radio frequency and microwave signals that are needed in Defence, autonomous vehicles and quantum computing fabrication.

The company has also developed a cryogenic fridge to cool the sapphire crystal used in the hardware, making it far more portable. Using the Cryoclock does not require any knowledge of cryogenics, and it has a low maintenance cycle interval of 20,000 hours.

Now in its third year, the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Investment NSW, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

Protecting your great ideas with intellectual property (IP) rights can lead to lasting benefits for your growing business. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work. Head to the IP Australia website to find out more about IP, and how it might help your business.
Reserve your place at the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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