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Land FORCES 2021 Innovation


Thursday 3 June
1000 – 1600
This event will be open to all LAND FORCES trade visitors, exhibitors and conference delegates. Click here to register and make your expression of interest to attend (please note that your expression of interest does not guarantee you a place; Numbers at the LAND FORCEScomplimentary conferences are limited and spaces are not guaranteed. Attendance is subject to availability and is on a first come, first served basis).
Meeting Room M3, Mezzanine Level, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre


The one-day Innovation and Technology for the Future Force Conference will focus on technologies and capabilities for the future ADF and the ecosystem driving innovation for future ADF capability, including Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), published government strategy on defence and innovation and the agencies that facilitate development and funding.

Guided by a Conference Chair eminent in the field, topics will include power generation, next generation soldier connectivity, AI and Cyber.

The conference will include presentation of the LAND FORCES Innovation Awards and the LAND FORCES Innovation Pitchfest prizes.

The Conference will promote relationships between DSTG, Industry and Academia, and highlight the issues, infrastructure and ecosystem guiding innovation for future ADF capability.

Thursday 3 June 1000 - 1550
The Innovation and Technology for the Future Force Conference is scheduled over one day to include three sessions - these will include breaks for morning tea and lunch with time to visit the LAND FORCES exposition floor.
Session One: 1000 - 1115
Session Two: 1115 - 1215
Session Three: 1400 - 1550


Speaker / Event Time Topic / Notes
Session One: 1000 - 1115  
Mr Gregor Ferguson PhD

Executive Manager – Innovation and Industry Engagement
AMDA Foundation Limited
1000 Welcome and Introduction
AM Geoff Shepherd, AO (Ret) –
Board Member
AMDA Foundation Limited
  Welcome to all presenters and delegates
Keynote Speaker
Dr David Kershaw

Chief – Science Engagement and Impact Division
DST Group 
1015 Defence’s Innovation, Science and Technology Program
Innovation Awards and Pitchfest Prizes Presentation

Presented by:
Dr David Kershaw
DST Group

LTGEN Ken Gillespie AC, DSC, CSM
Board Member
AMDA Foundation Limited

Session Two: 1115 - 1230  
Mr Peter Rowland
CEO, Micro-X
Winner of the National Innovation Award
1115 Successful defence R&D in the Australian market
Ms Bernadette Brown
Director, Cogito Group
presenting remotely via Zoom
1145 The cyber dimension – the Jellyfish system and an SME’s experience of R&D with Defence
Lunch 1215 Speakers and delegates visit the exhibit
Session Three: 1400 - 1550  
Dr Stuart Cannon
Acting Chief Technology Officer, Innovation and Strategic Research
DST Group
presenting remotely via Zoom
1400 Impact – how does a game-changer actually change the game? STaR Shots as an R&D Focus
Mr Warwick Penrose
Managing Director
1430 Force Protection

(Moderated by Conference Chair, Mr Gregor Ferguson)

Ms Bernadette Brown
presenting remotely via Zoom

Dr David Kershaw

Mat Jones

Mr Peter Rowland

1500 Emergent threats driving technology needs – Getting new technology into service faster
Close 1550  
Networking Drinks:
1600 - 1700 Exposition Floor

Program correct as of 02/06/2021



Bernadette Brown
Executive Director, Cogito Group

Bernadette and her husband, Richard founded Cogito Group in 2011. Ten years on Cogito Group is a growing, award winning 100% owned Australian cyber company. Bernadette will share her experiences on the challenges of running an international cyber security business, developing software and selling to federal and international government agencies (including Defence).

She is the first to admit there is no ‘off’ button when you run a business. The early years she describes as jumping out of a plane without a parachute. She believes it’s about taking big risks, making and learning from mistakes, pushing boundaries, making yourself highly visible, keeping up with technology, adapting rapidly to change and creating strategic partnerships.

Dr Stuart Cannon
Acting Chief Technology Officer for Innovation and Strategic Research

Dr Stuart Cannon is currently the Acting Chief Technology Officer for Innovation and Strategic Research.

In this role he is responsible for providing the strategic direction for Defence’s Innovation initiatives, Next Generation Technologies Fund and STaR shot research programs. Stuart is the Executive Chair of the Maritime Systems group of the Five Eyes TTCP program. His previous roles include Program Leader, Surface Ship Science and Technology in the Maritime Division. He was responsible for DSTG’s surface platform research in support of all of the RAN's current surface fleet as well as the future surface ship acquisitions including the Hunter Class Future Frigate and the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Boats.

Dr Cannon is a career naval architect who specialises in the surface ship platform performance. This ranges from the behaviour of ships in a seaway through to determining the residual strength of a ship structure following weapons damage. During his employment at DSTG he has been involved in a variety of structural investigations on the fleet-in-being and has advised CASG on projects such as the Armidale Class Patrol Boats, the Hobart Class Air warfare Destroyers, Hunter Class Frigates and the Canberra Class Amphibious ships.

Dr Cannon has held positions within the Naval Architectural industry in the UK, as well as academic positions at Brunel University (UK), the Australian Maritime College and Monash University. He was a program leader and regional manager for the Australian Maritime Engineering Cooperative Research Centre. Dr Cannon currently holds an Adjunct Professor position in the National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics at the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime college.

Dr Cannon gained an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (FRINA), a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) and a Chartered Engineer (CEng). Dr Cannon has been a member of Lloyds Register of Shipping Technical Committee and represented Australia at the International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress.

Dr David Kershaw
Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division

Dr David Kershaw is a Physicist and Electrical and Computer Systems Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in Defence Science and Technology, primarily in torpedoes, torpedo defence and undersea warfare. He has extensive experience as the lead scientist for several defence acquisition projects including the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Future Submarine and is a former Navy Scientific Adviser. David was appointed as Chief Maritime Division with Defence Science and Technology in May 2016 before moving to his current role of Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division in January 2020.

Mat Jones
Senior Business Development Manager, BAE Systems Australia

Mat Jones is the Senior Business Development Manager, Future Technologies for BAE Systems Australia. He has been in the company since July 2019 and is currently managing the Business Development effort for BAE System’s Future Technology portfolio which includes autonomous systems and advanced weapon and counter measure technologies.

Mat is a former Army officer who served for 13 years in a variety of operational roles. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and was instrumental in the urgent operational acquisition of the ADF’s Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) capability. Since transitioning from Defence Mat has held several senior leadership roles in business and the non-for-profit sector.

Mat is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Royal Military College-Duntroon and the Australian Technical Staff Officers Course. He has a First Class Honours degree in Physics and a Masters of Management majoring in Capability Development and Technology.

He is a passionate advocate for Defence Force veterans and is the former CEO of Soldier On Australia and current chair of BAE System Australia’s Veteran Advisory Committee.

Ken Mahon
Managing Director, Geant Pty Ltd and Partner - Victorian Universities for Campus Plus

Ken is an experienced professional leader based in Melbourne working in strategic innovation management, new venture creation, and translation and commercialisation of research and innovation Ken works with a range of early stage ventures as an advisor and has been pivotal in assisting businesses in developing strategy, execution planning and capital raising. His clients include advanced manufacturing, ag tech, Defence and security, cyber security, wealth tech, and immersive technologies businesses.  Ken is also a mentor working with accelerator and incubator programs including D.Start, is active with Defence sector start-ups, and has led prototyping and proof of concept activities across real time operational systems, tracking solutions, and enterprise infrastructure.
His current roles include Managing Director of Geant Pty Ltd and Partner - Victorian Universities for Campus Plus.
Prior to his current role he was the Director Ventures at Deakin University with responsibility for commercialisation of University research through new ventures. Ken has also worked in the commercial research, industry engagement, licensing and partnership building as a Senior Commercial Manager at Deakin University.
Defence has been a major component of Ken’s extensive career. His Defence experience extends not only research and innovation, but across the complete capability lifecycle with experience in major capital programs, operational support, and sustainment of Defence capability.  He has worked in Defence and Defence Industry as a project, systems engineering, and logistics professional over along ng period.

Ken is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), holds a Master of Science and Technology Commercialisation from University of Adelaide, and has a Bachelor of Engineering – Mechatronics from Deakin University. He is also an Approved Advisor with the Advisory Board Centre.

For any conference enquires, please contact Peta Richards at