Research and Development Strengths

South Australian researchers have a strong culture of cross-university, industry and Defence Science and Technology (DST) collaborations in Australia and internationally. 

DST’s longstanding and significant presence in South Australia has fostered the development in our institutions of specialist defence-relevant research concentrations, including 

University of Adelaide 

Australian Institute for Machine Learning - upskills South Australian workers in artificial intelligence and its application to the workplace, build new AI-enabled defence capabilities, supports cost-effective adoption of artificial intelligence by South Australian government agencies and directly supports local South Australian businesses to develop new products based on artificial intelligence.

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing – develops novel photonic, sensing and measurement technologies targeting applications in defence and national security, as well as environmental monitoring, preventative health, food and wine, and mining. IPAS maintains a strong partnership with the DST Group.

Adelaide Radar Research Centre – focuses on the use of radar for surveillance and environmental monitoring. The centre brings together university research groups, commercial companies and external organisations such as the DST Group, Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Antarctic Division.

Centre for Defence Communications and Information Networking – has expertise in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs); tactical data information links (TADILs); analysis of the use of satellite communications in operational environments and developing systems for minimising costs; and research and development into real-time network emulation systems.

Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies – specialises in traumatic stress research, particularly the epidemiology and neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as psychiatric disorder and wellbeing more broadly.

Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics  - facilitates the emergence of a creative inter-disciplinary dialogue on contemporary challenges in the areas of military law, national security, international law, military justice, international relations and strategic policy.

Flinders University 

Centre for Nanoscale Science & Technology – works to apply fundamental research and know-how in nanotechnology to provide novel, robust solutions to the challenges facing Australia in the general areas of energy, health, security and water.

Centre of Expertise in Energetic Materials – conducts fundamental and applied research in the field of energetic materials, with a focus on defence and national security. A strong partnership exists between the university and DST Group.

Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control and Imaging – facilitates fundamental research in the broad field of autonomous systems, with activities encompassing fundamental contributions to control, estimation, image processing, structural analysis, robotics, and the design of novel embedded hardware.

University of South Australia 

Future Industries Institute – focuses on research and innovation in engineering and the physical sciences across four key strands: minerals and resources engineering, energy and advanced manufacturing, environmental science and engineering, and biomaterials engineering and nanomedicine.

Institute for Telecommunications Research – conducts research into satellite communications, flexible radios and networks, high-speed data communications, and computational and theoretical neuroscience.

Advanced Computing Research Centre – comprises of a diverse group of research themes relevant to defence including: the Wearable Computer Lab, which specialises in augmented reality, wearable computing and advanced Human Computer Interaction techniques and visualizations; computational and theoretical neuroscience; and cognitive neuro-engineering.


Other Research Organisations

Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre – has expertise in big data research, development, education and training for national security and other data-intensive sectors. It is currently developing big data reference architectures for defence; geospatial intelligence production and analysis; systems for distributed access and analysis of defence ISR data; and open-source intelligence.

Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre – focuses on three key areas: ensuring the security of critical infrastructure; enabling Australian individuals, businesses and industries to access cyber security solutions; and building the next generation of industry, government and research cyber security leaders, and increasing maturity, capability and collaboration in the sector.

The Road Home – raises awareness and funds to support research and programs that deliver optimal models of care and health outcomes for Australia’s veterans, emergency service personnel and their families.

For further information please direct all enquiries to Sumen Rai, Manager, Defence Science and Technology at Defence SA. Tel: +61 8 8463 7102 or

Image: Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing