Page 17 - Australian Defence Magazine - July 2018
P. 17

“We have great people working in our or- ganisation, but we don’t employ all the best people in the country and so it’s really im- portant for us to have the very best advice on where technologies move, particularly disruptive technologies,” he said. “So technol- ogy fore-sighting and horizon scanning has become a critical function for us. We’re trying to understand the strategic environment we’re finding ourselves in and the opportunities for science and technology to make a difference.”
He noted that technology has histori- cally been driven from within the defence forces of the world, citing the development of computers, the internet and GPS tech- nology, however industry is now creating and developing new technologies at a faster rate than ever before.
“It’s clear that disruption will occur through technology and so we need to be at the forefront of that, and that’s part of the reason we’re sponsoring these workshops. It’s clear that one area we want to explore in De- fence is the understanding of human sciences, particularly human biotechnologies,” he said.
“The work that’s going on in industry and academia is moving at a rapid rate and it will
add a disruptive element into Defence. So we’re starting to look at what will happen in the next 10, 20, 30 years and we’ve divided that work into two major areas, looking at what we call human measurement and then human modification.”
Dr Zelinsky added that the timescale for the human measurement portion of the re- search was very much focussed on the pres- ent and is considering technologies which will both significantly improve Defence’s capabilities to ‘stream’ recruits, but also to monitor the health of warfighters before, during and after operations.
“We have a duty of care for our forces and it we want to discover who can assist us to potentially understand what is happening on operations,” he said. “We need to take the health measurement of our Defence forces very seriously and human measure- ment technologies are very important to us.”
Noting that human modification is not a new phenomenon – drugs and prosthetics have been used as a mechanism to augment the human body for years to treat medical conditions and improve performance – but future modification could potentially be
Brigadier Craig Schramm at EDTAS.
able to target genetic materials, cells and or- gans, supporting their function.
“For Defence we’re always looking for an unfair competitive advantage and if there are ways to use human biotechnolo- gies to make our warfighters more resilient, healthier and potentially superior to the op- position,” he explained.
Dr Zelinsky concluded with a challenge for attendees.
“Our objective is to explore human bio- technologies in a Defence and National Se- curity context. Defence is not immune from changes and it must adapt for us to remain at the leading edge. We must understand the environment we’ll be working in,” he said.
KONGSBERG’s systems, services and products are in the international top league. We have obtained this position from more than 200 years of innovation, hard work and determination. Our solutions increase performance and optimise results in areas that are strategically important worldwide. | July 2018 | 17

   15   16   17   18   19