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$100,000 Innovation awards – shortlist announced

21 Australian innovators from both the defence and civil sectors have been shortlisted for the prestigious Indo Pacific 2023 Innovation Awards, worth $100,000.

Among them are a company manufacturing 3D-printed hypersonic aircraft, designed for rapid re-use, a Young Innovator who co-founded a company building a hydrofoil boat with a patented electric propulsion system, and a company that’s built a 6 Degree of Freedom robotic arm that can perform complex and dangerous tasks under water.

The winners are awarded under three categories:

  • Indo Pacific 2023 National Innovation Award
  • Indo Pacific 2023 SME Innovation Award ($50,000)
  • Indo Pacific 2023 Young Innovator Award ($50,000)

In addition, at the judges’ discretion, strong entries that didn’t win but are considered deserving could receive a High Commendation.

National and SME innovation award shortlist
  • Advanced Navigation (NSW) – Hydrus fully autonomous submersible drone, designed for one-person launch and recovery, for undersea surveying, detection, localisation, classification and inspection.
  • AMOG (VIC) – innovative, flexible monitoring solution that provides independent diagnostics, validation and oversight on the performance of critical wharf infrastructure.
  • Basil VR Greatrex Pty Limited (NSW) – hydraulic filter capable of removing particles down to 1 micron in size, and therefore also water, from hydraulic fluid.
  • Chris Tucker Marine Design (VIC) – Emergency Response Drydock that keeps boats clear of the water while enabling extremely rapid launch in an emergency.
  • Franmarine Underwater Services (WA) – MarineStream™ underwater cleaning, inspection and maintenance hardware based on an end-to-end block chain-based ERP platform.
  • Fuze Group Pty Limited (WA) – in-field composite material repair and construction technology for Defence Maritime applications.
  • Hullbot (NSW) – autonomous, robotic hull cleaning system employing computer vision and AI/machine learning.
  • Hypersonix Launch Systems (NSW) – 3D printed DART AE reusable hypersonic aircraft powered by a hydrogen scramjet capable of repeated flights at Mach 7 +.
  • Lubrication Engineering Pty Limited (NSW) – Viper Wire Rope Lubricator, an automated system designed to eject moisture from the wire rope and compress lubricant deep into its core.
  • Manderson Engineering Innovations Limited (NSW) – Breach and Attack Tool (BAT) and accompanying Deck Box, a simple, safe and effective indirect suppression capability to fight compartment fires at sea.
  • Onetide Pty Limited (WA) – two innovations: the Mission Deck, a rapid, no-weld deck fastening system for ships’ cargo; and RapidReel and Mobile Power Stand hose and power cable deployment and retrieval system.
  • Osibot Pty Limited (QLD) – very low-impact solar-powered uncrewed undersea vessel for reef monitoring and marine biology education.
  • Platypus Australia Pty Limited (VIC) – Nautilus hardware box and Nemo software stack to provide mission level autonomy and cooperative autonomy to small Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs).
  • Reach Robotics (NSW) – 6 Degree of Freedom underwater robotic arm capable of extremely complex and dangerous tasks.
  • Steber International (NSW) – hybrid propulsion system for surface craft reducing operational expenditure and emissions.
  • The Whiskey Project Group (NSW) – The high-payload Whiskey Bravo Multi-Mission Watercraft featuring a carbon composite shock-mitigating hull, and Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) systems.
  • University of New South Wales (NSW) – hybrid UAV to conduct underwater sonar scanning deploying from, and recovering to, a P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Young Innovator Award Shortlist
  • Mr Rhys Centin (Thornton Tomasetti) (VIC) – for his work on two projects: explosive ordnance blast modelling; and shock-testing naval equipment weighing more than one tonne using Australia’s only JASSO shock-testing machine.
  • Mr Joshua Cribb (Electro Nautic) (WA) – for his work as co-founder on designing and testing the electromechanical and flight controls of the Electro Nautic ‘WaveFlyer’ recreational vessel.
  • Mr Matthew Louden (Advent Atum Pty Limited) (NSW) – for his work as Chief Architect on the Proteus Expeditionary Personnel Amphibious Electric Vehicle (EPAEV).
  • Mr Taimoor Shabih (Advent Atum Pty Limited) (NSW) – for his work on the development of the open-architecture HORAS operating system for manned and unmanned military vehicles.

Indo Pacific 2023 organiser AMDA Foundation launched the Innovation Awards ten years ago to recognise and reward local companies and individuals at the forefront of naval and maritime innovation. Since they were first presented in 2013, AMDA has presented Young Innovator and SME Innovation Awards to a total value of more than $585,000 – on 7 November that total will rise to $685,000.

“Australian companies and individuals are showing themselves the equal of any in the world in creating technologies and ideas that solve real-world problems,” said Justin Giddings, Chief Executive of AMDA Foundation Limited.

“The Indo Pacific 2023 Innovation Awards provide a meaningful financial incentive for small business and individuals to help them develop their innovations, and visibility to potential customers and partners to get them noticed. The result is commercialisation of products and services that strengthen both our industry and their customers, in particular the Royal Australian Navy.”

The winners and highly commended entries will be awarded at Indo Pacific 2023 on 7 November, 1100-1200 in the Aurecon Theatrette (Exhibition Hall 1). It is free to register as a Visitor and attend the ceremony.

Register free for Indo Pacific 2023

For more information about Indo Pacific – visit