Australian and US universities to collaborate on priority defence projects

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Four Australian Universities will join forces with four of their US counterparts to conduct joint research on priority defence projects under the US Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI).

Making the announcement, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the selected Australian universities will each receive a grant of up to $1 million per year for three years to support their research in Australia.

“As these universities were chosen from a pool of over 400 proposals, this is a great outcome, one which shows that Australian researchers are world class,” Minister Pyne said.

According to the media statement by the Department of Defence, Griffith University, University of New South Wales and University of Technology Sydney will work with Duke University, the University of Oregon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on integrated quantum sensing and control for high fidelity qubit operations.

Sydney University and the University of New South Wales will collaborate with the University of Tennessee, Ohio State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute on a project in material sciences.

Minister Pyne noted that while Australian universities could bid for MURI projects in the past, they were not eligible for grants from the US Department of Defense, which prompted the Government to establish a similar initiative in the country.

“The Government is investing $25 million in the Australian version of the MURI program, called AUSMURI, to facilitate joint research with the American universities,” Mr Pyne added.

He said Defence and the US Department of Defense have also selected the next topic eligible for funding under AUSMURI 2019 – Active perception and knowledge exploitation in navigation and spatial awareness.

“Research in this area will enhance the manoeuvrability of people and autonomous platforms in environments where traditional navigation systems are ineffective,” the Minister continued.

“The AUSMURI program enables Defence to access the best research expertise from Australia and the US to develop game-changing military capabilities.”

For more information on the AUSMURI program visit

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