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Merger creates significant new player in Australian AI and sensor market

South Australian companies Consilium Technology and elmTEK have joined forces to form a new group focussing on AI and sensor technologies, servicing the defence, agriculture and mining sectors. The new group, which will announce its new name and brand soon, will remain headquartered in South Australia, bolstering the State’s growing defence industry and capability. It will employ some 160 staff.

The merger brings together more than 20 years’ combined experience and innovation in software engineering, systems integration, digital sensors, simulation and AI and is backed by leading Australian growth investor Pemba Capital Partners.  Pemba is supporting the new
group’s ambitious growth targets in a market where 9 out of 10 Australian organisations are looking to implement AI solutions, and defence spending is expected to increase by more than 20% over the next five years.

The founders of the merged companies said the synergies between elmTEK and Consilium will enable the new group to increase its scale and capabilities in the delivery of large defence and space programs, as well as in agriculture, mining, logistics, energy and infrastructure.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve proven ourselves and built a truly fantastic business focused on solving mission critical problems at pace for defence and other customers,” said elmTEK co-founder and Managing Director Ganen Ganeswaran. “The two companies have experienced significant growth in the past decade, and this merger with the support of
Pemba demonstrates a real maturation of Australia’s digital defence sector.”

The CEO of Consilium Technology, Seth Thuraisingham, said the new group’s capabilities in sensors, simulation and AI are critical to solving defence challenges, improving productivity in agriculture and lowering costs and improving margins in medium to large enterprises.

“With growing global uncertainty in national security, food production and other social elements such as rising inflation and Covid-19 impacts, the strengthened capabilities through this merger will provide industries with tools to improve predictability,” he said.

“Technology like AI and sensors are akin to prediction machines that can deliver competitive advantage against emerging threats in the defence environment, improved yields in agriculture and automated knowledge work in enterprise.”

elmTEK co-founder and head of strategy Bjorn Wharff said the new partnership will be leveraging its extensive experience to support the future submarine and adjacent maritime
programs and combining this with deep AI expertise to offer specialised capabilities at scale to the new AUKUS and future submarine enterprise and to allied nations.

“This will be one of the most important strategic capabilities Australia will invest in over the next 20 years, and we’re thrilled to be perfectly positioned in this regard” said Bjorn Wharff.

Defence’s DST Group has an ongoing and successful working relationship with both Consilium and elmTEK, according to Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist.

“Innovation – to grow and sharpen Defence capability – must deliver advantages for Australia quickly, tangibly and enduringly,” she said. “It is good to see Australian Defence Industry supporting and accelerating the development of disruptive technologies beyond the research and initial demonstration stages. Previous DSTG partnerships with both elmTEK and Consilium are great examples of Defence working alongside Australian Defence Industry to transfer ideas through to commercialisation.”

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