Key players in the international aerospace and defence industries are gearing up for Avalon 2019, the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition. Held biennially, Avalon 2019 will run from 26 February to 3 March at Avalon Airport, near Geelong.

While the air displays act as a big draw for the general public who attend Avalon, the real business is done in the exhibition. Avalon is a global business event that attracts senior civil aviation, air transport, aerospace and defence industry, military and government decision‐makers from around the world. In 2017 the last event featured 664 companies from 25 countries, 158 delegations and more than 33,000 accredited trade attendances, with a total event attendance of 210,664.

As part of the build-up to the event, its organisers have released the shortlist for the $60,000 Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards. Twenty three SMEs, research institutions and individuals from six Australian states and territories have made the shortlist, submitting innovations across a range of fields from aerial sensors to helicopter training, a system to monitor space assets and a water‐powered rocket school teaching aid. Judged by an expert panel, the Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards attracted a record 68 submissions from 33 entrants, presented in six categories.

The awards are open to Australian companies and the Australian subsidiaries of overseas parent companies. The innovation can be a new product or service to a new approach to business, with entries judged on originality and utility in aerospace, space and defence. Past winners have included TAE Aerospace for its Fountx wearable engineering technology, BAE Systems for its EDMAP corrosion management system and Thomas Global Systems for its “plug and play” LCD replacement for legacy cathode ray tube aircraft instruments.

The Avalon Innovation Awards are part of a program also involving Maritime, Land and Civil Security Industry Innovation Awards, presented biennially at the Pacific International Maritime Expo in Sydney, the CivSec Civil Security Congress and Exposition in Melbourne and the Land Forces exposition, which has been held in Brisbane and Adelaide. The program has awarded $305,000 in Innovation grants and awards since it began in 2013.

The Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards were developed by Avalon 2019 organiser and national not-for-profit foundation Aerospace Australia Limited as part of its mission to promote the development of Australian industrial, manufacturing and information/communications technology resources.

The shortlisted Avalon 2019 Innovators are:

  • Cassowary Machining & Fabrication, Queensland – Chinook Helicopter SOS seat
  • Cryoclock, South Australia – Sapphire high precision timing clock
  • Deakin University, Victoria – Haptically enabled Universal Motion Simulator
  • Defence Innovations, Victoria – Non-Intrusive Flight Test Instrumentation System
  • DST Group, Victoria –Hornet Outer Wing Static Test System
  • Immersaview, Queensland – VADAAR LVC digital streaming system
  • InnovAero, Western Australia – Big Eye aerial camera system
  • Inovor Technologies, South Australia – Space Situational Awareness System
  • It’s Rocket Science Adventures, Queensland – Water rocket teaching aid
  • Millswood Engineering, South Australia – Failsafe Flight Safety Device
  • Nova Systems Australia, South Australia – Requirements Assurance and Validation Suite
  • Opaque Media, Victoria – AIVA training assessment platform
  • RMIT University, Victoria – Black Kite UAV
  • Seeing Machines, ACT – Pilot eye scanning technology
  • Toll Helicopters, NSW – ACE Training Centre
  • Varley Group, NSW – Mudbucket avionics integration solution

The shortlisted candidates for the Avalon 2019 Young Innovator Award are :

  • Graham Bell, Victoria – Monash University and NextAero
  • Steen Bisgaard, Queensland – GaardTech
  • Jordan Forsyth, NSW – JAR Aerospace
  • William Henderson, Victoria – Nova Systems Australia
  • Jimmy Toton, Victoria – RMIT University and DMTC
  • Achim Washington, Victoria – RMIT University
  • Joshua Wilson, Queensland – Skyborne Technologies

“The key criteria in the Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards is that the innovation must not only be groundbreaking, but must also provide a tangible benefit in defence or industry,” said Avalon 2019 CEO Ian Honnery. “The awards are not about innovation for its own sake, but about creating products and services that solve problems, create opportunities and make a difference in the real world. The fact that this year’s innovation awards attracted a record number of entrants is a tribute to the level of innovation and creativity in the Australian aerospace and defence community.”