Joint AU-UK funding for advanced materials in defence

The Australian Defence Force has identified seven research proposals for innovative materials as worthy of pursuing for military platforms.

Contained within the research proposals are methods of developing new adhesives to bind high temperature structures, the integration and repair of different composite types, and the joining of ceramic armour for greater protection against bullets and missiles.

Defence will provide $900,000 in funding from the Next Generation Technologies fund to the proposals to translate the research into applicable outcomes.

According to chief defence scientist professor Tanya Monro, collaborating with researchers developing innovative materials leads to direct outcomes for defence.

“These proposals will enable Defence to solve growing scientific challenges by developing versatile new materials that will lead to improved performance and increased durability for our platforms,” said Monro.

The seven successful proposals were from the University of Southern Queensland, the University of NSW, RMIT University, Deakin University, CSIRO and QinetiQ Australia.

The Next Generation Technologies fund aims to support emerging and future technologies and is managed by Defence Science and Technology. The fund includes $730 million to be spent in the decade to 2026.

The initial call-out for these new materials came as a joint proposal from Defence Science and Technology and the United Kingdom’s (UK) Defence and Security Accelerator and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

This led to 70 proposals, with 32 from Australia and 38 from the UK.

In addition to the seven successful Australian proposals, the UK will fund seven proposals with total funding of £562,700 ($1,010,100).

Working in collaboration between Australia and the UK has led to greater opportunities in defence research.

“This process could become standard to facilitate future international calls for high-quality, impact-focused research and increased collaboration with our allies. An opportunity exists for Australia and the UK to jointly progress some of these projects to the next stage,” said Monro.