SA ups the ante on defence innovation

South Australia continues to strengthen its reputation as a hub for defence innovation thanks to a new joint venture, the Defence Innovation Partnership, which is helping stimulate collaboration between industry and research institutes.

Established in January 2018, the Defence Innovation Partnership is a collaborative initiative of Defence SA, Defence, Science and Technology and South Australia’s three universities. It connects government, industry and researchers with the right partners and fosters the formation of new projects.

Defence SA’s Chief Executive Richard Price said the Defence Innovation Partnership is acting as a catalyst for new conversations between industry and research institutes.

“A key activity of the Defence Innovation Partnership is the Collaborative Research Grants program, which provides up to $150,000 to support collaborative research and development activities,” he said.

“We’ve recently selected the first four successful programs as part of the first round of grants. There were some incredibly high calibre applicants, including from industry participants who are completely new to the defence sector.”

“It was also terrific to see South Australian researchers teaming up with their interstate counterparts and even international partners,” Mr Price said.

In order to be considered for funding, projects must demonstrate genuine collaboration between South Australian researchers and partners from industry and government, while also being desirable for Defence.

“The Defence Innovation Partnership is also unique because the funding opportunity is open to researchers from both university and industry – something which isn’t currently available in similar programs.

“The work of the Defence Innovation Partnership is done in collaboration with the industry expertise of Defence SA and there is also a permanent Defence, Science and Technology staff member in the office to provide that strong link to researchers,” Mr Price said.

The four funded projects for round one of the grants program are:

  • $149,450 for Next Generation Solutions for Passive Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) and Improved Situational Awareness, led by University of South Australia with partners the University Adelaide, Defence Science and Technology, Silentium Defence, and Villanova University (USA)
  • $150,000 for Realising the benefit of augmented reality devices in military applications, led by the University of Adelaide with partners Flinders University, University of South Australia, Defence Science and Technology, Rheinmetall, University of Western Australia, and University of Melbourne
  • $150,000 for Developing Autonomous Seakeeping Capability for Unmanned Surface Vessels, led by Flinders University with partners Defence Science and Technology, the University of Adelaide, Acacia Research
  • $150,00 for Economical Technologies for the Detection and Remediation of Water Contaminated with Perfluorinated Substances, led by Flinders University with partners University of South Australia, Puratap, University of Newcastle

Applications for round two of the Collaborative Research Grants Program closed on 12 September 2018.