The federal government has begun a defence innovation, science and technology review to ensure that the Australian Défense Force continues to have access to “cutting edge capabilities.”
Défense Industry Minister Melissa Price announced a review on Monday to see how “domestic innovation opportunities” can be more effectively implemented in the organisation.
The review will be led by former Rio Tinto Australia Managing Director David Piver, who also reviewed the first principles back in 2015.
Price said the review will “aim to make the Department of Defence organisation more commercially oriented, with results focused on giving ADF access to the world’s leading technology and capabilities.”
“We must ensure that we are taking full advantage of Australian innovations to maintain Defence’s capability edge while ensuring innovative businesses are given every chance of commercial success,” she said.
“We need a defence organisation that can capitalise on the knowledge and expertise of Australian industry and academia to develop mission-focused technology that can address the unique capabilities of defence.
“Now more than ever, we are striving to drive fit-for-purpose innovation where Australian industry and academia are partners in this vital mission.
“Innovation is being developed jointly with taxpayer funds and Australians need to know that we are investing their money wisely.”
The review will examine the governance, management, and funding of all Defence-funded innovation programs, particularly the Next-Generation Technologies Fund and the Défense Innovation Centre.
Price added that the billion-dollar fund and hub will continue to operate while the review is underway.
The review will also examine the defence organisational structure, governance and financing of the defence innovation ecosystem, according to the terms of reference.
Other areas of focus include how to create a stronger link between academia and industry to solve defence challenges and more effectively commercialise defence-funded research and innovation.
It is expected Peever will provide a final report to Price by the end of 2021.