Sunday, 29 November 2020
Defence Innovation and Start-Ups: Insights from WA Industry, 30 August, Perth
Austmine Limited

Defence Innovation and Start-Ups: Insights from WA Industry, 30 August, Perth

WA DEFENCE REVIEW in partnership with CORE Innovation Hub and Engineers Australia, are pleased to invite you to hear the experiences and challenges of dynamic West Australian entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas and enterprises have led them to successfully enter into either the Australian or global defence supply chain.

In recent years there has been an escalating number of Australian small and medium enterprises and start-ups which have successfully penetrated the global defence supply chain. Referring to this state of affairs earlier this year, the Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon. Christopher Pyne, stated: “Investing in Australian start-ups and industry shows Australia’s capacity for competing on the world stage, and that Australia is open for business”.

This increasing appetite for innovation is enshrined on the website of the Defence Innovation Portal: “Defence welcomes your innovative ideas, no matter how big or small. You don’t have to represent a multinational firm. If you have your own business, belong to a think-tank, or anything in-between, Defence wants to hear from you. Proposals are accepted all year round”.

As espoused in the 2016 Defence White Paper and 2016 Integrated Investment Plan the Commonwealth Government has allocated $1.6bn to deliver on its commitment to grow Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector. Hence, the potential for Australian small and medium enterprises and start-ups to access Commonwealth funding is historically unprecedented.

The Defence innovation system is built around two signature programs, namely the: Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub, both of which are designed to support the research and development aspects of innovation. This is an indicator of the ingenuity and innovation that exists within the Australia’s business community and the future potential that awaits dynamic Australian start-ups.

Our four presenters are:


Susan graduated as a civil engineer in Scotland in 1994 and migrated to Perth five years later. She spent the next 15 years in consulting engineering. Susan worked on a number of transport projects before moving into senior roles in client management, business development and industry liaison. During that time, Susan led and implemented a number of projects for the business including the Graduate and Future Leaders Programs in WA. Susan joined Engineers Australia in her current role in January 2015. In her role, she represents EA on the Government’s STEM advisory panel. For the past two years, Susan has chaired the National Science Week WA Coordinating Committee.


Josh has over a decade of experience developing and commercializing commercial drones. He is an entrepreneur and robotics engineer who has specialized in electric VTOL technologies and has been recognized in Anthills Top Smart 100 and nominated as Young Manufacturer of the Year.

  • Mike von Bertouch; Director Structured Design, InnovAero & 5D Systems; Founder Spookfish Ltd.

Mike is an engineer with a diverse range of experiences over his nearly 30 year career. Mike’s early career episodes included a variety of roles in companies involved in space, airbourne, subsea and surface vessel design and manufacturing. In the mid ‘90s Mike moved into consulting engineering with partners and built a vertically-integrated product development organisation. Mike’s current consulting businesses provide a broad range of product development and manufacturing services to Defence and aerospace clients. Mike is a founder of Spookfish Ltd, developers of arguably the world’s leading aerial camera technology.

Daniel has 17 years of experience with Defence, including service as a soldier and officer, as a public servant in the Defence Department and now as a member of defence industry. During his career he has held a wide range of roles including: Project Manager of Widebrand Global Satellite (JP2008 Ph 3H), Deputy Director of Technological Solutions in Navy Strategy Executive, attended Australian Command and Staff College and the Capability and Technology Management College, and has also held numerous command roles in the Army Reserve. Most recently, Daniel has been working in defence industry as the Managing Director of Chironix, a technology company specialising in robotics, machine learning/data engineering and wearables.


Please note that:

  • All tickets purchased will be cross-referenced with CORE Innovation Hub and Engineers Australia prior to event.
  • Dress Code is Business Casual.







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