AMDA’s Innovation Program is an initiative designed to encourage and reward defence innovation by Australian companies, research institutions and individuals.

The program incorporates two main activities: the Innovation Awards and the Innovation Pitchfest. Both work to highlight Australian innovation, recognise its potential, reward its success and are presented at each of AMDA’s three major defence industry events:

Innovation Awards

The Innovation Awards program is driven by AMDA’s mission to promote the development of Australian industry, manufacturing, technology, resources and capability in the fields of aerospace, aviation, maritime, defence and security.

The Awards are open to Australian companies or the Australian subsidiaries of overseas parent companies with entries judged on their understanding of the user needs, the originality of the innovation and, crucially, their success in the market.

Innovation Awards are presented in the categories of:

  • National Innovation
  • SME Innovation (including $50,000 cash prize)
  • Young Innovator (including $50,000 cash prize)

Since they were first awarded in 2013, AMDA has presented in excess of $500,000 to SME and Young Innovator award winners to encourage their next steps of production, professional development and further education.

The Innovation Awards have also worked to directly address the operational and sustainment needs of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as well as the civil and commercial aviation, land defence and maritime communities.

They have also anticipated by several years, the Australian Government’s emphasis on establishing a strong, robust, innovative high technology defence and advanced manufacturing sector to help grow Australia’s economy and national security.

Read more about how the Innovation Awards program supports the Australian Defence Force.

Innovation Pitchfest

The Innovation Pitchfest provides a platform for innovators to reach an international audience of potential customers, partners or investors in attendance at AMDA’s major industry events.

Pitchfest presents a series of three-minute pitches which demonstrate a range of Australian innovations, research collaborations or projects. Participants include representatives from defence, industry, start-ups or Publicly Funded Research Organisations (PFRO).

Pitchers are offered training in the art of delivering an engaging and succinct pitch and are encouraged to craft their presentation around the following points:

  • Uniqueness and novelty.
  • Application or end goal of the innovation.
  • Where future collaboration may be of benefit.

Presentations are assessed by a panel of expert judges and the top three pitches are awarded at the end of the event.

Innovation Pitchfest is organised by the Defence Science Institute (DSI) in partnership with AMDA, the Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP) in SA, Defence Innovation Network (DIN) in NSW, Defence Science Centre (DSC) in WA, and Queensland Defence Alliance (QDSA).
For more information on the Innovation Program, email