Go8 trailblazer universities – safeguarding Australia’s national security

Australia’s leading research-intensive universities will play a critical role in developing and building our sovereign defence industry during these increasingly challenging and uncertain times.

The University of Adelaide has been awarded $50 million under the Government’s Trailblazer program to work with researchers from the University of New South Wales and 52 business partners to develop new defence industry technology and 100 new defence products, creating 1000 jobs over four years.

The University of Adelaide and its industry partners will match the Government funding by more than 3 to 1, investing $188 million in this critical project to safeguard our national security.

The Go8 invests over $68 billion in defence R&D each year (44 per cent of the higher education sector’s R&D) and are world leaders in the development of innovative defence technologies.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the scale of industry investment – including 35 SMEs – demonstrates that Australia’s defence firms recognise the value of collaborating with our world class universities.

“This partnership will develop our cutting-edge defence research to boost our national security in what is an increasingly complex geopolitical environment,” she said.

“COVID-19 has shone a light on the vital role of research commercialisation to protect Australia’s future and highlighted the potential of what true collaboration between universities and business can achieve.

“The commercialisation of Australia’s world class university research is key to the nation’s growth and prosperity, meeting the national security challenges ahead and enhancing the lives of future generations.”

The Go8 undertakes 70 percent of university-based research in Australia and pushes above its weight in commercialisation of research. Go8 universities generate the largest share of commercialisation revenue for the sector in Australia and attract industry funding for research that is twice that of the rest of the sector combined.

In 2020 the Go8 collectively earned $95.5 million in research commercialisation income, more than twice that of the CSIRO ($43.3 million) and was responsible for the majority of Australia’s new and active start-ups and spinouts attributable to public research as well as active licences, options and assignments (LOAs).

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