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Defence bolsters national security research funding

Universities across Australia have secured millions of dollars in research grants as part of a new push to develop national security technology.

Universities across Australia have secured millions of dollars in research grants as part of a new push to develop national security technology.

The Commonwealth government has awarded almost $6 million in research grants to eight Australian universities under the first round of the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program.


The grants aim to foster the development of emerging science and technology to address intelligence and national security threats.

Recipients include the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Australian National University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Adelaide.

“The targeted funding for Australia’s higher-education sector will enhance our ability to deal with threats to our national interests through the development of cutting-edge technology,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.

Projects expected to be funded range from research into a handheld device for detecting illegal drugs, to tools for detecting and countering disinformation.

“Purposeful applications for research at Australian universities leads to increased defence collaboration, developing sovereign capabilities and delivering economic benefits to the nation,” Minister Dutton added.


The NISDRG program was set up to promote co-operation between the national intelligence and security communities and Australian researchers.

 The research projects align with the 2020 National Security Science and Technology Priorities.

The NISDRG is jointly funded by Defence and the Office of National Intelligence, with the grants administration provided by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

[Related: NSW government to establish local Space Research Network]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Defence bolsters national security research funding
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