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Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair officially launched the Defence Innovation Network (DIN), a $5 million NSW Government-funded initiative to increase collaboration between the State’s defence industry and the excellent research and development capabilities of NSW universities.

“R&D is a key driver of innovation, and economic and defence benefits will flow to NSW and Australia thanks to the Defence Innovation Network bringing together our best researchers and our defence industry.

“Even more important are the lives of the men and women serving in the Australian Defence Force. Through the creation of new capabilities, the NSW Government and its DIN partners are helping to ensure the safety of our defence personnel on the battlefield,” Mr Blair said.

Since first announcing the establishment of the DIN in October 2017, the NSW Government has invested $2.6 million through the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to support its creation. The Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) and seven NSW universities have also provided investment and funding support.

“I’m pleased to announce today that another $2.4 million has been allocated to continue the NSW Government’s support for this vital initiative,” Minister Blair said.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the DIN had already provided $650,000 in project funding to solve problems in areas such as drone detection and the use of artificial intelligence systems for mine detection.

“NSW universities have diverse capabilities in defence-related technologies including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, aerospace, radar, sensors, signal processing, material sciences, quantum sensors and advanced human performance.

“These capabilities provide excellent opportunities for NSW defence businesses to accelerate their R&D and deliver innovative defence technologies to the ADF and our allies,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.