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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