Hon Steven Marshall MP

In a move that shows support for growing South Australia’s cutting-edge defence and space innovation, as well as creating more local defence jobs, the Marshall Liberal Government will invest $7.9 million in this year’s budget for the state’s Defence Innovation Partnership.

The funding, further supplemented by the Federal Government’s Defence, Science and Technology Group and the three South Australian Universities to total nearly $10 million, will mean scaling-up support for collaborative defence-related research and development (R&D) projects to derive world-class solutions for complex defence challenges.

The investment will build on defence innovation success stories to come out of the state like freeform optics for small satellites, advanced 3D battlespace visualisation, and the impact of light pollution from submarine operating consoles on human operators.

Premier Steven Marshall said the R&D potential generated by these successful partnerships represents a critical component of the cutting-edge defence projects coming out of South Australia.

“Simply put, this investment means we can connect the best of the best from the state’s defence industry, research organisations and educational institutions to deliver hi-tech solutions and capabilities from South Australia – creating more jobs in this critical sector for our state,” Premier Marshall said.

“A robust and resilient defence industry depends on a strong R&D base; South Australia prides itself on being visionary and our support of these innovative research projects reinforces this position.

“Establishing a collaborative environment with defence-relevant research, development and innovation at the foundation is a priority for my government.

“The $90 billion investment from the Federal Government is creating and will create an unprecedented pipeline of jobs, and business opportunities right here in South Australia for decades to come.”

“We are fully committed to working hand in glove with industry to make sure we meet the needs of the defence sector, and take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for South Australia.

“Through its Collaborative Research Fund, the Defence Innovation Partnership has already supported 20 innovation projects across four funding rounds, and renewed investment in the program means adding to the state’s long history of success in defence research,” Premier Marshall said.

Since 2018, close to $8.3 million of defence research and development funding in South Australia has been generated through the Fund.

Half of all round four projects were driven by start-ups or industry-led, with three of seven being space projects. Round five of the Fund will launch on Wednesday 7 July.

More information of the Defence Innovation Project and projects funded under the Collaborative Research Fund can be found at defenceinnovationpartnership.com.

This year’s budget also sees the extension of the Defence and Space Landing Pad Program, which provides interim subsidised office accommodation and access to government and industry support services to attract, support and scale up international defence and space companies that bring new sought-after capability to South Australia.

The initiative, funded from the Jobs and Economic Growth Fund, will provide $860,000 over three years for this vital program.

“We want Adelaide to be the Australian home of as many defence and space companies as possible,” Premier Marshall said.

“The extension of the Defence and Space Landing Pad Program provides companies with the starting blocks they need to set up shop in South Australia, ultimately creating local jobs.”