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AI-based surveillance solutions part of multimillion-dollar Australian defence grant

Grants totalling $3.47 million have been awarded to a raft of defence projects being delivered by “cutting-edge small- to medium-sized businesses”.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 16 Apr 2024
AI-based surveillance solutions part of multimillion-dollar Australian defence grant
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The Australian government has announced a series of grants to eight small- to medium-sized businesses involved in delivering projects to enhance Australia’s defence capabilities.

The grants, worth $3.47 million, are part of the Albanese government’s Defence Global Competitiveness and Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority program.

While it is not the biggest of the grants delivered by the program, Port Melbourne-based computer vision firm Sentient Vision Systems will receive $108,000. That investment will go towards acquiring and integrating “enhanced data-processing capabilities” to create artificial intelligence models focused on boosting reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.


The other grants are focused on building sovereign defence capabilities, from advanced CNC milling to support the manufacturing of submarine components to establishing a robust Australian munitions industry.

“Small- to medium-sized businesses play an important role in developing and sustaining the capabilities the Australian Defence Force needs to protect us and our national interests,” said the Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy (pictured), in a statement.

“Through Defence grant programs, the Albanese government continues to help innovative local businesses grow and create high-skilled, well-paid jobs.”

Sentient Vision Systems recently announced that it had entered into a “definitive agreement” to be acquired by Washington DC-based defence technology firm Shield AI.

“What stood out to us about Shield AI is that they are the only company in the world with an operational AI pilot, and therefore have the technological expertise and maturity to really deliver on the AI technology workstream underlined in AUKUS Pillar 2,” said Sentient Vision Systems’ chief executive, Mark Palmer, in an 4 April statement.

“The innovation breakthrough combining our computer vision AI-enabled ViDAR and Shield AI’s Hivemind will increase situational awareness, enabling quicker more effective decision making and help to save lives.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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