Victoria’s capabilities in digital technology, cyber security and defence will be showcased in the UK and France this week. Minister for Trade and Investment will meet with representatives from Europe’s defence, tech and infrastructure sectors to explore trade and investment opportunities.

The Minister will engage with key stakeholders, decision makers and government representatives in the UK before travelling to the heart of the French defence industry – the Centre-Loire Valley – to discuss R&D activities and opportunities for collaboration with Victoria. This opportunity will be used to encourage the UK Government to choose the Bushmaster, a military vehicle manufactured by Thales in Bendigo, as the next addition to its defence force.

The Victorian Government is hoping to lure some of the world’s most innovative defence companies to Fishermans Bend – the 32-hectare site five kilometres outside of Melbourne’s CBD will eventually support thousands of jobs. Fishermans Bend is the centrepiece of Victoria’s joint bid with BAE Systems to manufacture the next generation of the Australian Defence Force’s Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles. If successful in the bid, BAE Systems will develop a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at the ex-General Motors Holden site.

As part of the trade mission to the United Kingdom, the Minister will also meet with Octopus Investments and congratulate the company on its investment in Melbourne. Octopus Investments is a venture capital and private equity firm specialising in early-stage growth and buyouts in the renewable energy sector and recently opened an office in Melbourne.