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Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has announced funding to support the production of geospatial‑intelligence products for government and defence customers.

Defence intelligence agency Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) has partnered with a not-for-profit company from Victoria, Australia, for the delivery of the second phase of the programme to support the development of the country’s geospatial-intelligence capabilities.

The AGO Analytics Labs programme aims to provide insights to the organisation, as well as support other defence innovation initiatives, including the Defence Innovation Hub.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that the collaboration with the not-for-profit company, FrontierSI, aims to boost AGO’s understanding of the modern artificial intelligence and data analytics methods for mapping and imagery.

Price added: “This is about establishing new frameworks for engagement, strengthening partnerships and raising the awareness of industry and academia to the challenges and capability requirements of our geospatial community.”

The programme was expanded to include at least six potential sub-contracts after the pilot’s success last year.

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The sub-contracts each have a value of up to A$150,000 and is divided over two challenge rounds.

Under the first round, the programme will aim to address the first three unclassified and emergent capability challenges, using small-scale research projects and concept demonstrators.

Sub-contracts will be awarded via FrontierSi in January and are expected to run for approximately six months.

Price said: “I am pleased to invite innovative Australian and New Zealand companies to submit project proposals that explore novel solutions to unclassified, but pertinent, challenges.

“AGO’s partnership with industry experts, such as FrontierSI, reinforces the Morrison government’s commitment to supporting Australia’s world-leading and critical innovation sector.”

Last month, the Australian DoD announced the final operating capability of a new satellite ground station.