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Defence Trailblazer announces three new defence R&D programs

The Adelaide-based Defence Trailblazer has announced three new research programs in disruptive technologies that will directly translate into Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability.

And in partnership with 40 Australian companies, the University of Adelaide (UoA) and UNSW, the Defence Trailblazer is accelerating the commercialisation of research at speed and scale.

“This year, we are investing in 3 core areas,” said Defence Trailblazer Executive Director, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar. These include technology development with more than 25 projects on their way to commercialisation; the creation of the Defence 10X Accelerator for startups to fast track growth; and industry research opportunities that already translates to 32 PhD scholarships with 16 industry partners.

The technology development projects specifically accelerate the translation of proven concepts to commercial-ready products across Quantum Materials, Technologies & Computing; Defensive Hypersonics & Countermeasures; Information Warfare & Advanced Cyber Technologies; Robotics, Autonomous Systems & Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Defence Space Technologies.

Through the Trailblazer’s Advanced Innovation Fund (AIF), the program will contribute to support the establishment of a Quantum Silicon (Q-Si) Production Plant to deliver an Australian manufacturing facility in Sydney producing zero spin silicon (ZS-Si) – a key material needed to build quantum computing chips.

“The Q-Si project will develop a sovereign end-to-end supply chain for critical quantum materials, essential for silicon quantum computing,” said Dr Mazumdar.

Other recently AIF-funded industry-led projects will develop sovereign capability in the areas of quantum, defensive hypersonics & countermeasures and AI.

To boost the capacity and capability of startups into the ADF, the Defence Trailblazer has partnered with UNSW Founders and private investors to establish the Defence 10x Accelerator Program. As the nation’s first and only defence-focussed accelerator program, it will provide founders with seed investment, access to entrepreneurial mentors and research and development (R&D) capabilities, along with the industry and defence networks to fast-track business growth.

In 2023, the Defence Trailblazer has invested $1.25 million of seed funding matched by $500,000 from private investors in five defence focussed start-up businesses — Advanced Alloy Holdings (AAH), Australian Droid and Robot (ADR), Fortifyedge, Hullbot and Stratoship.

Applications for Defence Trailblazer 2024 Innovation Programs will open on 22nd November 2023. For more information visit

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