Technology to counter improvised threats nets UWA $2.9 million

20 December 2017

Technology to counter improvised threats nets UWA $2.9 million

WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds congratulated the University of Western Australia and its partner company, Scientific Aerospace Panorama Synergy, on being named winners of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge.

They were awarded $2.9 million for their proposed technology of an unmanned airborne imaging and infrared spectroscopy for detection and identification of improvised threats.

“This is yet another example of the talent and innovative spirit that exists here in WA,” Senator Reynolds said.

“The University of Western Australia, along with their partner, Scientific Aerospace Panorama Synergy, proposed a novel hybrid Electro-Optic imaging/infrared spectroscopy capability on a networked unmanned airborne platform. It will be developed for real-time, passive, standoff detection of improvised threats.

“This has the potential to be a game-changer for our national security and I congratulate the University of Western Australia and Scientific Panorama Synergy on their win.”

The Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge is an initiative of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund (Next Gen Tech Fund).

The challenge, which is in its first year, sought proposals from industry and academia to address the ever-growing incidence of improvised threats to Defence personnel and the public.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced 13 winners today from over 200 submissions, with $19 million awarded to universities and companies across Australia.

The outcomes of the winner’s proposals will be developed over the next four years into a single prototype threat detection system, led by Defence.

Next Gen Tech fund complements the Defence Innovation Hub as the two core initiatives of the new Defence Innovation System, outlined in the Government’s Defence Industry Policy Statement.

These two signature innovation research and development programs, together with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, deliver on the Government’s $1.6 billion commitment to grow Australia’s Defence industry and innovation sector.

Media Contact: Amy Blom 08 9477 5411, 0431 685 372 or

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