ENERGETIC AND RESOURCEFUL, WITH A GLOBAL REACH
With deep networks in defence, industry and research, the Defence Innovation Partnership team proactively pursues opportunities to build defence-relevant research and development collaborations.
With guidance, support and oversight provided by our Advisory Board and the Research Working Group, we have access to a wide network of global expertise.
Director, Defence Innovation Partnership
Sumen has spent two decades working at the intersection of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and social sciences. At the Defence Innovation Partnership , Sumen is responsible for engagement with industry, government and the research community, and strategic marketing and communications.
Over the past seven years, Sumen has worked at Defence SA focusing on the development of defence science and technology activities across South Australia’s priority areas such as cybersecurity, maritime technology and autonomous systems. She also helped develop the state’s aim to grow opportunities in the space sector.
As part of her work, Sumen has successfully fostered networks and communication channels between Defence, industry, universities and state and Commonwealth governments, and was responsible for securing funding from the South Australian Government for the establishment of the Defence Innovation Partnership.
As a former teacher and presenter of STEM education programs, Sumen has particularly enjoyed her work on events such as the NASA International Space Apps Challenge and GovHack which have enabled her to continue her long-held passion for inspiring the next generation of South Australian scientists and researchers.
Phone +61 8 8463 7152
Mobile +61 438 815 365
Dr Matthew Richmond
Associate Director (DSTG Representative)
Matthew Richmond commenced as the Associate Director Defence Innovation Partnership office in July 2022; embedded as the Defence Science & Technology Group representative. Previously, he was the Group Leader Land Design & Analysis within the Joint & Operations Analysis Division, Group Leader Joint Organisation & Social Sciences and Group Leader Land Organisation & Management Sciences. Matthew completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania in 1995 and a Ph.D. at the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University in 1999. After 18 months as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa in Canada, Matthew joined the Defence Science & Technology Group in 2001. He has completed postgraduate studies in Operations Research (UNSW @ Canberra) and Scientific Leadership (Melbourne University).
Since joining DST Group, Matthew’s research has focussed across a broad range of areas including preparedness analysis, fleet size analysis, development of prototype modelling and analysis tools, defining user requirements for decision support systems, complex decision-making, organisational adaptability and applying systemic design methods to future force design (particularly focussed on the impacts of new and emerging technologies).
Matthew has led on a number of analytical studies and campaigns supporting analysis of future land capabilities and has provided analytical support to the strategic centre including the Force Structure Plan 2020 and emerging technology ideation for Joint concept development.
Phone +61 8 8463 7103
Mobile +61 457 166 273
Bez Mohammadi is Pathways Manager at the Defence Innovation Partnership. In his role, Bez works closely with project teams to identify and promote their research to commercialisation partners and end users. He is also responsible for scoping further funding and partnership opportunities for project teams to scale-up.
Bez brings extensive experience working across technology and entrepreneurship, including co-founding several space and social enterprise start-ups.
Over the past five years, Bez has worked in the aerospace and defence industries across business development, operations and stakeholder engagement. Prior to his role at the Defence Innovation Partnership, Bez was a technology and project analyst at Accenture, working on large-scale digital transformation projects in risk and compliance within the financial services sector.
As an active member of the start-up community, Bez enjoys taking part in hackathons, pitching competitions and attending launch events for new start-ups.
Bez holds a degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from University of Adelaide.
Phone +61 8 8463 7305
Mobile +61 483 393 778
Program Operations Manager
Merril Kirk is Program Operations Manager at the Defence Innovation Partnership. In her role, Merril is responsible for leading the grants management process for the organisation’s Collaborative Research Fund. She also manages the Defence Innovation Partnership’s daily operational requirements and engagement activities, including the Convergence Series events, workshops and conferences.
Merril brings extensive knowledge of South Australia’s industry base, having worked with the South Australia public sector for over 17 years and has experience in the areas of tourism, employment, training, workforce development and industry development.
Prior to joining the Defence Innovation Partnership, she was a supply consultant with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) where she focused on building supply chains in the mineral, renewables, space and defence sectors.
Merril is proactive in building professional and collaborative networks to maximise opportunities locally and globally for South Australian businesses.
Phone +61 8 8463 7105
Mobile +61 484 310 073
Jessica Read is the Administration Officer for the Defence Innovation Partnership. In her role, Jessica manages the team’s busy diaries and general running of the office by providing administrative and organisational support to the team.
Jessica has a background in Special FX in the UK Film/TV Industry. She moved to Adelaide in 2013 and retrained as an animal technician. She has worked as a technician in Medical Research in both the UK and Adelaide, which culminated in achieving the Facility Coordinator role at SAHMRI.
Prior to joining the Defence Innovation Partnership, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Jessica was Administration Supervisor for the SA Health, Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network and worked closely with the project team helping coordinate 9 vaccination and testing clinics across South Australia and Kangaroo Island.
Jessica holds a BSc (Hons) in Film Production Technology and a Diploma of Animal Technology from TAFE.
Phone +61 8 8463 7177