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South Australia on track to become Australia’s defence state


The South Australian Government has updated its defence strategy after recent events helped focus priorities in the industry.

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The South Australian Government Defence Strategy: 2030 was launched today at the Adelaide office of Boeing Defence Australia, adding five years to the previous 2025 strategy and aligning priorities to reflect the current projects underway in the state.

The biggest change is dropping land and aerospace from the priorities to concentrate on shipbuilding and the space industry.

The change of focus reflects the awarding of the Australian submarine contract to South Australia, as well as parts of the Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate builds.

The South Australian Government has also launched a comprehensive space industry plan on the back of hosting the International Astronautical Congress in September, at which the Australian Government announced it would establish a national space agency.

A week before the National Space Agency announcement, South Australia’s Minister for Defence and Space Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith pledged $4 million over four years to boost the space industry in South Australia.

Hamilton-Smith also opened the South Australian Space Industry Centre to drive space industry innovation, research and entrepreneurial development.

The newly established Space Industry Centre is now looking for organisations to run its Space Incubator and Space Accelerator programs.

The programs, backed by a $1 million a year space innovation fund, have been established to support space startups and grow early stage businesses. Having the IAC in Adelaide gave South Australian space companies the opportunity to engage directly with global players.

The new defence strategy’s two other priorities include the state becoming a centre of excellence for cyber capabilities and a national leader in defence science and research.

Hamilton-Smith said the state vision to be Australia’s Defence State was now a reality and it was important to remain competitive through innovation and new technology.

“We must invest in our defence future and build a strong and capable workforce,” he said.

In November, Rheinmetall Defence Australia teamed up with TAFE SA to offer a 12-month course specifically designed to develop graduates with the high-end graphics skills required to build defence-specific 3D virtual worlds.

Rheinmetall’s Adelaide-based operations focus exclusively on Electronic Solutions for a range of customers including the Commonwealth of Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group at Edinburgh and the Australian Army.

The course builds skills in the creation of 3D virtual world building, mechanical props and supporting multimedia chiefly for defence support industries. The additional skills learned can also be applied in technical art and animation.

In July, Techstars launched the first Asia-Pacific defence and security startup accelerator in Adelaide.

Techstars Adelaide supports early-stage companies advancing state-of-the-art applications that revolve around the Internet of things (IoT), big data as well as sensors and robotics.

Techstars Adelaide will connect 10 startup teams from all over the world to an established network of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors and representatives from the locally-based defence companies.

Adelaide is Australia’s defence hub and hosts world leading defence companies such as BAE Systems, Thales, Lockheed Martin, ASC, SAAB, Rheinmetall and Naval Group.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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