Funding awarded for defence-industry research

Four projects in South Australia have received $150,000 each to pursue innovation in defence and industry research.

Delivered through the Defence Innovation Partnership, the funding enables collaborative partnerships between local industry, universities, and the Australian Defence Force.

Awarded projects in this round, the third so far, include the development of new electrically conducting carbon-based coatings. These would be used to stop to growth of unwanted organisms on marine surfaces and is being developed by Flinders University, ASC, the University of South Australia, and the Australian Defence Force.

A $150,000 grant also went towards the preliminary 3D and functional design of a submarine vehicle for hydrodynamic testing. The vessel would allow local SMEs to upskill in Industry 4.0 techniques, and brings together a consortium of the University of Adelaide, Saab, ASC, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, the University of Tasmania, TAFE SA, and Defence.

Other projects include improvements to target detection radars, and narrative visualisation techniques for defence simulations.

By drawing together researchers and industry experts with a variety of skills, the program fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, noted the chair of the Defence Innovation Partnership advisory board, Kim Scott.

“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,” he said.

So far, the program has delivered $1.9 million across 13 projects, with contributions of above $4 million from universities, Defence, and industry. The program aims to build capacity across South Australia, said Defence SA chief executive, Richard Price.

“The projects will help deliver advanced defence technologies and capabilities, and enhance defence innovation in South Australia,” he said.

“When research institutions, academia, and industry come together like this, it accelerates development and builds capability to deliver major defence projects in South Australia.”