The Andrews Labor Government has formed a partnership with Elbit Systems of Australia to establish a Centre of Excellence for Human and Machine Teaming in Melbourne that will drive the research, development and commercialisation of defence technologies.
As one of the world’s leading global defence innovators, the investment by the Australian subsidiary of Israeli global conglomerate Elbit will bolster the state’s defence chain capability and create local jobs.
Elbit develops and supplies a range of specialist technology systems and products that use artificial intelligence, sensors, data and networks in the areas of defence and homeland security.
In Australia, Elbit provides digitisation technologies to the Australian Defence Force, including interfaces with airborne platforms, naval platforms and unmanned systems, some of which will be adapted and developed through the new Melbourne Centre for potential application in emergency services such as firefighting.
Utilising specialist Australian engineers, Elbit’s new Port Melbourne-based Centre will work with Victorian universities and research organisations to foster collaboration within the innovation ecosystem, create new products and develop existing research discoveries into licensed products.
Elbit will also partner with startups and small-to-medium enterprises to boost the commercialisation success of new discoveries in the fields of autonomous systems, machine vision, robotics, industrial internet of things networks and augmented and virtual reality.
The Centre’s first research project will focus on building innovative technology applications for emergency services and defence that are expected to save time and resources.
Development of the new technology will involve digitising manual processes and systems and fusing multiple data and sensor inputs to enhance situational awareness and decision processes, providing critical system improvements that will assist Victoria’s emergency services in the future.
Through the Victorian Budget 2020/21, the Government is providing $6 million to support the growth of the state’s defence sector which includes attracting global leaders such as Elbit to invest and work in Victoria.
Elbit Systems of Australia currently employs around 250 people across the country, including 80 military veterans, with plans to recruit six engineers for the new Centre in Melbourne.
Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula
“We’re proud to be supporting Elbit to grow its global footprint in Melbourne, an investment that will boost the commercialisation of defence innovations and create new local jobs.”
Quote attributable to Victorian Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas
“By partnering with defence innovators like Elbit we are investing in Victoria’s future – creating jobs, attracting global tech leaders and cementing our position as a first-class destination for businesses from all over the world.”
Quote attributable to Elbit Systems of Australia managing director Major General (ret’d) Paul McLachlan
“The Centre of Excellence is a key milestone in the Elbit’s transformation to be an independent innovative technology company in Australia, employing locals to create products designed for the Australian market.”