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Minister announces $650k for DST cyber tech research

cyber warfare
DST has extended the deadline for applications for cyber security experts

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne is encouraging industry and universities to submit research proposals to enhance the cyber capabilities of the Australian Defence Force with $650,000 worth of grant funding. 

Cyber is a priority theme of the Next Generation Technologies Fund, aimed at realising the potential game changing cyber capabilities afforded by research and development in Australia. Defence recognises the need to respond to this technology opportunity, and that technological advances in the cyber domain are likely to lead to the introduction of new capabilities in the region.

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"Malicious cyber activity costs Australian business and families over $1 billion every year, and malicious cyber activity from state and non-state actors is a threat to Australia’s national security, the government encourages Australia’s scientists and researchers to contribute to the development of cyber capabilities, which is a priority for national security," said Minister Pyne. 

Defence is seeking to leverage the vibrant cyber science, technology and innovation capability across Australia to develop technology solutions of high relevance to the country's national security. Through partnerships with Data61, academia and industry, Defence aims to understand the potential of cyber technologies, create prototype systems, and demonstrate the practical application of systems to Defence problems.

One of the goals of cyber technologies research is to inform Defence of the potential benefits and practical limitations of cyber technologies through studies and demonstrator systems within a three to five-year time frame.

DST is seeking submissions from academia, and other research agencies, detailing how they propose to contribute to research in the following areas:

  • Trustworthy machine learning;
  • Symbolic execution for rapid threat analysis;
  • Formal verification of network control protocols;
  • Data security and privacy of inference models;
  • Detecting and analysing vulnerabilities in concurrent software;
  • Resilient cyber systems;
  • Depicting human vulnerabilities towards cyber threats via trust analytics;
  • Privacy-preserving distributed edge computing;
  • Policy-defined networking;
  • SDN data plane security and extensions to software defined clouds;
  • Formal mathematical modelling environment;
  • FPGA security;
  • Assisted system decomposition for vulnerability assessment; and
  • Cyber-enabled information warfare. 

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Alignment to Defence strategy and the project priorities;
  • Future science criticality;
  • Collaboration depth (e.g. collaboration with DST staff, Data61 staff, other universities, an industry partner etc);
  • Delivery of outcomes (e.g. the ability of the proposal to deliver the agreed outcomes and milestones); and
  • Game changing potential to Defence. 

Cyber seeks to leverage the vibrant cyber science, technology and innovation capability across Australia to develop technology solutions of high relevance to Defence.

Through partnerships with Data61, academia and industry, Defence aims to understand the potential of cyber technologies, create prototype systems and demonstrate the practical application of systems to Defence problems. 

Minister Pyne said, "It is critical that Australia develops a sovereign capability to protect our nation.”

Funding of up to $650,000 is being provided by the Next Generation Technologies Fund for the cyber research program, applications close Wednesday, 15 August, with initial proposals being funded for 12 months. Further information is available This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Minister announces $650k for DST cyber tech research
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