The Innovation Pitchfest, sponsored by Synergy Group, was held today at LAND FORCES 2022 with 20 representatives from industry, government and academia pitching their ideas to a panel of judges which included a representative from the Australian Army.
The judging panel included Colonel Robin Smith, Director RICO, Australian Army, Dr. Melissa Laws, DSTG Group Leader Next Generation Technologies Fund, Mr Kevin Hernan, Associate Director Defence Innovation Hub, Mr John O’Callaghan, Victorian Defence Industry Advocate, and Mr Geoff Thomas – Principal, Axant Corporate Advisory.
The Innovation Pitchfest provides a platform for innovators to present new products and research projects to an international audience of potential customers, partners and investors.
Innovation Pitchfest organiser and Defence Science Institute Engagement Manager, Craig Butler, said they had significant interest with more than 30 submissions.
“There was a mixture of topics, themes, presenters and activity from every state and a broad spectrum of companies from small companies to quite large companies putting new ideas out there,” he said.
For the first time, Pitchfest was held in a dedicated conference room and not on the exhibition floor. But with the crowd overflowing out the door, interest in Australian innovation was a high as it has ever been.
Twenty pitchers presented their ideas, each within a strict three-minute timeframe and at the conclusion of the program three awards were presented:
- Best Presenter: Lachlan Poppins (representing himself) for his Swiss Army Knife approach to defence procurement.
- Best Overall Innovation: Dr. Richard Parsons (Kite Magnetics) for developing a better magnetic material for electric motors, improving the efficiency of, specifically, high speed drone motors.
- Best Land Innovation: Luke Townsend (Federation University) who developed low cost mobile surveillance technology to prevent poachers in African wildlife reserves and explained how it can be used within Defence.
The Innovation Pitchfest is organised by the Defence Science Institute (DSI) in partnership with LAND FORCES 2022 organiser, AMDA Foundation Limited, the SA Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP), NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN), WA's Defence Science Centre (DSC), and Queensland Defence Alliance (QDSA).