Australia — New Institute to focus on world leading Defence research

An impor­tant strate­gic part­ner­ship between the Depart­ment of Defence, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mel­bourne, will help cre­ate smarter defence solu­tions for a safer Aus­tralia, and deliv­er the ben­e­fits of increased aca­d­e­m­ic engage­ment.

Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel, the Hon War­ren Snow­don MP said the Defence Sci­ence Insti­tute (DSI) will under­take mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary world-lead­ing research to enhance the safe­ty of defence per­son­nel, enabling them to ‘work smarter.’ 

“This excit­ing ini­tia­tive will pro­vide an impor­tant avenue for Defence to tap into some of the best and the bright­est sci­en­tists and researchers in the coun­try,” Mr Snow­don said. 

Defence will con­tribute through the Defence Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy Organ­i­sa­tion (DSTO) and Mel­bourne Uni­ver­si­ty will be sup­port­ed by the Vic­to­ri­an Government. 

Victoria’s Depart­ment of Inno­va­tion, Indus­try and Region­al Devel­op­ment has com­mit­ted $3 mil­lion in fund­ing, over the next three years, to sup­port six ini­tial research top­ics: bio­log­i­cal sys­tems, human pro­tec­tion and per­for­mance, sig­na­ture man­age­ment, ener­gy and propul­sion sys­tems, micro-radar tech­nolo­gies, and intel­li­gent infor­ma­tion systems. 

DSTO will invest more than $2.5 mil­lion fund­ing, in cash and in-kind sup­port, through­out the three year peri­od. Addi­tion­al­ly, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mel­bourne will con­tribute some $11.5 mil­lion equivalent. 

“The DSI’s tech­ni­cal objec­tives, includ­ing improved detec­tion of con­cealed tar­gets, and advanced con­trol sys­tems for future elec­tro-mechan­i­cal land and sea based propul­sion sys­tems, will direct­ly enhance our defence capa­bil­i­ties,” Mr Snow­don said. 

“Find­ing inex­pen­sive and unob­tru­sive ways to mon­i­tor human inter­ac­tions asso­ci­at­ed with dis­ease trans­mis­sion, and improv­ing deci­sion mak­ing under dif­fi­cult envi­ron­men­tal stres­sors, will sig­nif­i­cant­ly aid defence per­son­nel safety.” 

Mr Snow­don said the DSI pro­vides a vehi­cle for a diver­si­ty of lead­ing researchers and inno­va­tors to work collaboratively. 

“With­in five years the DSI expects to expand its net­work of researchers, to embrace researchers employed by small to medi­um firms and major Defence prime companies. 

The Cen­tre, once ful­ly oper­a­tional, will also play a valu­able and impor­tant role in the train­ing and men­tor­ing of more than 50 PhD stu­dents in asso­ci­at­ed fields of study. 

“It will also pro­vide strate­gi­cal­ly focused, project based seed fund­ing, to help attract and inspire the next gen­er­a­tion of defence sci­en­tists and cre­ate real oppor­tu­ni­ties for researchers who may oth­er­wise be exclud­ed from this fun­da­men­tal­ly impor­tant band of research and devel­op­ment,” Mr Snow­don said. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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