Defence artificial intelligence solutions company DroneShield (ASX:DRO) is a global player with clients in more than 120 countries. The company is focusing its efforts on addressing the defence challenges of tomorrow.
From counter-drone technology to radio frequency, radar, computer vision, sensor fusion and electronic warfare, DroneShield is leading the artificial intelligence technologies market in the military-grade warfare solutions of the future.
DroneShield’s initial focus was on counter-drone protection, where it is now a global leader. Over time, the company has driven broader artificial intelligence and machine learning innovation across a range of advanced threats. These are threats that militaries and other government customers, like intelligence communities and law enforcement agencies, face regularly.
Today, the company offers an expanding range of military-grade electronic warfare solutions. These detect signals, objects and vehicles across aerial, ground and maritime spaces.
DroneShield has government, intelligence, law enforcement and defence customers in more than 120 countries. They include the Australian Defence Force and the US Department of Defense.
‘DroneShield is a unique business,’ says Angus Bean, DroneShield’s Chief Technology Officer.
‘We’ve been looking at the artificial intelligence space applied to advanced unmanned threats for longer than almost anyone. We have 6 years of experience developing high-technology products and services. That allows us to have some of the best solutions in the world for what we do.’
What drives DroneShield’s pursuit of excellence is the sheer challenge ahead.
‘We need to continually integrate and develop new technology solutions to keep pace with the changing nature of drone security,’ says Bean.
‘I’m proud that we are the pioneer in this space and we’re able to convert that to commercial success. I’m also really proud of the team that we’ve developed here. They are leaders in what they do.’
Bean notes that exporting is ‘absolutely critical’ to DroneShield’s success.
‘Exporting allows us to have the scale in production to fund the high-technology development that we do here,’ he says.
DroneShield exports to markets throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia, aligned to Australian defence priorities.
‘We support scores of military, government and commercial users globally,’ says Bean. ‘The Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the Boston Marathon are also customers. In addition, we have numerous airports and other high-profile customers in the defence and security spaces.’
DroneShield ended 2020 with revenue up 58% from 2019, despite the global pandemic. In the same year, the company closed its largest capital raise, reflecting ongoing investor confidence.
‘Importantly, we are a fully Australian-owned company. We have approximately 8,000 “mum-and-dad” shareholders,’ says Bean.
‘DroneShield will continue to grow year on year in staff numbers and the capabilities we export.’
The company supports the next generation with strong employment opportunities.
‘We have a robust graduate program which we’ve grown over the past 5 years,’ says Bean.
As an industry leader, Bean’s advice for aspiring export businesses is to get on the front foot.
‘Get out there to trade shows for the defence industry,’ he says. ‘I would encourage them to look at Team Defence Australia. This program has opened opportunities for us to make great connections worldwide.’
As a proud Australian company, recognition in this year’s Australian Export Awards means the world to DroneShield.
‘I’m really pleased to see an export business doing really well commercially,’ says Bean. ‘It’s also great to see them achieving positive outcomes in technology development in Australia.
‘This award is a great recognition for the huge effort, the late nights, and the hard work our entire team has put in over the last 12 months.’