Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator

Following the Defence Strategic Review, the Albanese Government has launched the ‘Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA)’ with a view to phase start-up operations over 18 months.

Replacing the Defence Innovation Hub and the Next Generation Technologies Fund, the ASCA mission is to connect and streamline Defence innovation, science, and technology systems – while also driving capability development and acquisition pathways. It is budgeted at $3.4 billion over 10 years.

The new accelerator program has been created to ensure Australia invests in the transition to new and innovative technologies for our Defence Force.

The Defence Strategic Review directed six priority areas for ASCA to focus on:

  • Hypersonics
  • Directed Energy
  • Trusted Autonomy
  • Quantum Technology
  • Information Warfare
  • Long-range Fires.

ASCA will take a ‘mission-based’ approach, driven by problem statements that defence and industry agree align with priorities. Codesigned between Defence, universities and industry, each funded project will be typically time-limited to three years with clear performance targets.

“It will unlock and ignite innovation from across the nation, bringing together the best experts from different sectors – driving change from within Defence to move at the pace and scale we need,” said Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy at the ASCA press conference.

Regarding eligibility, established companies and small to medium-sized enterprises can apply. Research organisations will need established industry partnerships to apply, and universities will need DISP accreditation.

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