Lockheed Martin will set up a new multi-disciplinary Research & Development (R&D) facility in Melbourne, Australia, the first by the firm outside the US.
Lockheed Martin will invest an initial $13 million over three years to establish a Science Technology Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaR Lab) to undertake R&D to solve the technology challenges of the future, and work in the art of the possible.
STELaR Lab will constitute Lockheed Martin's national R&D operations centre for its current research portfolio in Australia, and undertake additional internal R&D programs.
Scheduled to open in early 2017, STELaR Lab researchers will explore several fields, including hypersonics, autonomy, robotics and command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Lockheed Martin confirmed the strategic investment in Australia's future R&D program will create premium jobs for science and technology graduates, with STELaR Lab anticipated to grow to over 20 employees within three years.
Speaking at an event in Melbourne on Monday 1 August to announce the decision, Dr. Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin's Chief Technology Officer, confirmed Melbourne's growing international reputation for research was a key factor in the consideration of a location for the Laboratory.
"The decision to establish a multi-disciplinary R&D facility in Australia was partly based on Lockheed Martin's own track record of Research & Development success with Australia's Defence Science and Technology Group and Australian Universities over the last 20 years," he said.
"Lockheed Martin laboratories operate on the frontline of applied research and development, and have been responsible for many advanced technology breakthroughs. It is our vision that STELaR Lab will add to that unparalleled legacy of technological excellence, and contribute to the advancement of human knowledge."
Raydon Gates AO, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia New Zealand confirmed STELaR Lab marked a significant step change in Lockheed Martin's capabilities in Australia, paving the way for deeper collaboration with partners and customers.
"Lockheed Martin technologies and best practice capabilities ensure our local partners can meet the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly changing world," he said.
"The establishment of STELaR Lab further reinforces our position as an industry leader in defence and technology, and we are proud of our ability to bring best practice and leading edge concepts to Australia to support growth and innovation."
Notable members of Australia's research community and academia, as well as the Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews MP, the Victorian Minister for Industry & Employment the Hon. Wade Noonan MP, and Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, Senator for Victoria attended the event at Engineers Australia.
STELaR Lab will be situated in the heart of Melbourne's emerging technology district between University of Melbourne and RMIT.