A NSW Government website

Funding boost for a smarter defence industry

Friday, 3 September 2021

Building an innovative and smart defence industry to pioneer research and the development of new technologies, is a key focus of the NSW Government, with $700,000 in pilot and seed funding delivered to cutting-edge collaborative research projects.

The NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) will deliver four pilot project and two seed project grants to successful researchers from the state’s leading universities.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the DIN had engaged with the industry’s best and brightest to support the development of advanced technologies for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“The NSW Government is working to build and grow the defence industry in the state and help small and medium sized enterprises gain better access to local and global supply chain opportunities.

“Since its establishment, the DIN has supported 21 innovative research projects and invested more than $3 million in pilot project grants,” Mr Ayres said.

“Seed project grants have supported 14 projects that have grown into commercial products including DroneShield who developed drone detection technology using AI, OCIUS’s sensors to enhance situational awareness at sea, and autonomous Electric VTOL Aircraft from AMSL Aero.”

Director of the DIN Professor Bradley Williams, said the pilot project grants allow member universities to connect with industry and defence to conduct rapid feasibility studies on new ideas.

“These ideas can then be developed into concepts or prototypes and attract further investment.”

The DIN will fund the following pilot projects:

  • $150,000 for UAS Swarm Search Strategies with Intelligent Task-Specific Guidance – led by the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney
  • $149,829 for defence acquisition optimisation using quantum algorithms – led by Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney
  • $149,292 for an augmented-reality heads-up interface for the Royal Australian Navy – led by the University of Technology Sydney, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Western Sydney University
  • $147,926 for Neuromorphic Audio-Visual Scene Analysis for Underwater Collision Avoidance – led by Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney

The DIN will provide also provide $50,000 seed funding to the following projects:

  • A prototype for adversarial deep learning use cases – led by Spinlock Security and the University of Technology Sydney
  • Development of novel crystal growth furnaces for sonar applications – led by Critus and UNSW

The NSW Government, through Investment NSW, will invest $1.9 million to support the DIN’s activities over the next year, generating hi-tech solutions for Defence and creating a collaborative research environment. To find out more, visit https://defenceinnovationnetwork.com/our-research/