Australian Universities to share $5.7m in grant funding to develop game-changing defence capabilities

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22 Australian Universities will share $5.7 million in grant funding to develop groundbreaking defence capabilities and grow Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector.

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The research will focus on developing defence capabilities in areas such as trusted autonomous systems, cyber security, advanced sensors, quantum technologies, enhanced human performance, etc.

Defence Industries Minister Christopher Pyne said the funding was allocated under the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund aimed at engaging industry and academia to research priority areas identified in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.

“The Next Generation Technologies Fund allows us to draw on the expertise in Australian universities to initiate research into emerging technologies of interest to Defence,” the Minister stated.

He said a total of 428 project proposals were received from 31 universities across Australia.

“There have been 59 successful projects to date and each will receive an average of $100,000 to fund their proposals and delivery over the next 12 months,” Mr Pyne added.

Victorian university researchers from Deakin, La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT will undertake 18 projects with a total funding of $1.7 million, with a further 14 projects valued at $1.3 million to be  undertaken by researchers at universities in South Australia—University of Adelaide, Flinders and UniSA.

Researchers at six universities in NSW from Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong, Sydney, Western Sydney and UNSW will undertake 10 projects with a value of $965,000, whereas Australian National University and ADFA in Canberra will receive $720,000 to undertake research on eight projects.

Additionally, Queensland researchers at Griffith University, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology will undertake five projects valued at $496,000, with researchers from Edith Cowan and Curtin University in WA to work on three projects with a funding of $283,000.

The University of Tasmania has also been allocated $97,000 to work on the project in enhanced human performance.

“These early research projects will provide a strong foundation to build future game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force,” the Minister continued.

“The new defence project funding will lift the level of collaboration between Defence and academia, it will stimulate innovation and is strongly aligned with the National Innovation and Science Agenda.”