Sydney is set to ramp up its global security profile by hosting leading international defence event MAST Asia Pacific 2020.

The Maritime/Air Systems and Technology (MAST) event is focused on undersea, surface, air and space, and cyber platforms, systems and technologies, attracting elite military operators, policy makers, defence contractors and technologists. It is coming to Australia for the first time and will attract 2,000 delegates and more than 200 exhibitors over three days to the International Convention Centre Sydney, injecting some $4 million into the local economy.

“MAST Asia Pacific 2020 presents an important opportunity to look at the latest development in maritime and air systems technology. We will also profile Australian industry capabilities and technologies to a global audience,” New South Wales Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said.

“This incredible coup for Sydney will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of Captain Cook’s Endeavour voyage to the East Coast of Australia in 1770, and I hope that a number of friendly fleets from around the world choose to celebrate with us.”

Chief executive of MAST Warren Edge stated that all the international players said they would commit to the event if it was going to be held in Sydney, Australia, given its reputation in the defence industry and destination appeal.

“Australia has several new maritime/naval air programs in the pipeline, including SEA 1000, which is a drawcard for international experts,” Edge said.

SEA 1000 – The Future Submarine Program will be the largest defence procurement program in Australia’s history. The project, billed to cost around $50 billion, will focus on the delivery of 12 ‘Future Submarines’, creating a capability design, construction and sustainment challenge of unprecedented scale and complexity.

It forms part of the country’s 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement, which aims to deliver a new export-orientated and innovation-led Australian defence industry. Planned investment over the next 10 years includes: the AU$230 million Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), headquartered in Adelaide; AU$640 million for a Defence Innovation Hub (DIH) and a further AU$730 million for the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF).

Working closely with various government authorities, conference planners aim to use the event to attract talented young people who might move into roles within the fields of science or technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the event will provide unmatched information, debates and networking for the world’s defence and security sectors.

“MAST Asia Pacific could increase Australian exports of services and products which will boost local jobs. Business Events Sydney’s latest research also shows that up to seven per cent of international delegates could choose to move to Australia to work or study after their Sydney experience, providing highly skilled workers that support advanced future-proof jobs.”


Featured image: Dr Jim Smelt (DSTG), Warren Edge (MAST), Honorable Stuart Ayres (NSW Government Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events & Minister) Credit: MAST