Funding to drive defence research collaboration in South Australia

16 December 2019

South Australia’s Defence Innovation Partnership has awarded $600,000 in new funding to South Australian universities, local industry and interstate universities to undertake collaborative defence research ventures.

The funding, delivered through round three of the Collaborative Research Fund, will support four projects that will improve the capability and effectiveness of the Australian Defence Force across key priority areas.

In the past two years, the Defence Innovation Partnership’s Collaborative Research Fund has awarded a total of nearly $1.9 million to 13 collaborative projects, leveraging over $4 million of university, Defence and industry contributions.

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price congratulated the successful research partners, including researchers from South Australia’s world-class universities, defence industry and interstate partners, who will join forces to drive cutting-edge defence projects.

“South Australia’s three universities are shaping our future with world-leading research and they each bring strengths in a range of defence-relevant fields,” Price said.  

“We are applying this capability by connecting these researchers with our defence industry to accelerate development and build solutions to key projects for Australia.    

“The Defence Innovation Partnership has made great strides in driving defence research activity in South Australia by connecting researchers, industry and government to form research and development partnerships.

“The importance of collaboration between defence industry and researchers cannot be understated; it is the foundation for success and key to solving increasingly complex Defence problems.”

The Defence Innovation Partnership fosters collaboration across the Federal Government, through Defence, industry, South Australia’s three universities, and the South Australian Government.

The four funded projects include:

  • $150,000 for the development of new electrically conducting carbon-based coatings to prevent the growth of unwanted organisms on marine surfaces, led by Flinders University with partners ASC, the University of South Australia and Defence. 
  • $150,000 for the preliminary 3D and functional design of a large-scale submarine vehicle to provide future hydrodynamic testing and simulator-based training while upskilling the future workforce in Industry 4.0 techniques and manufacturing processes with local SMEs, led by The University of Adelaide with partners Saab, ASC, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, the University of Tasmania, TAFE SA and Defence
  • $150,000 for the development of improved target detection capability for marine radars to support decision making of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, led by the University of South Australia with partners REDARC, Raytheon, Raytheon Anschutz, The University of Adelaide and Defence
  • $150,000 for the application of narrative visualisation techniques to Defence simulations to improve decision making in force design, led by the University of South Australia with partners Saab, Genix Ventures, The University of Adelaide and Defence

Chair of the Defence Innovation Partnership Advisory Board Kim Scott said seven pioneering projects under rounds one and two of the Collaborative Research Fund have so far reached completion.

“We are incredibly pleased to see the significant progress and completion of a number of projects we’ve funded, which demonstrate the breadth of defence-relevant research supported by the Defence Innovation Partnership,” Mr Scott said.   

“A key focus of the Defence Innovation Partnership is to drive interdisciplinary research to solve complex defence challenges, and we’re building a robust community of defence-relevant researchers across a range of disciplines, not only through the Collaborative Research Fund but through our Convergence Series.” 

Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro said the projects are further examples of how networks such as the Defence Innovation Partnership play a vital role in supporting collaborative research in support of Australia’s defence and national security.

“They facilitate deep connections between South Australian industry, universities and Defence to ensure research and development is aligned with Defence priorities.”