Grants of up to $50,000 are up for grabs to provide seed funding for NSW small-to-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to help develop early stage defence technologies under a joint program between the NSW government and Defence Innovation Network (DIN).
The DIN brings together NSW industry, universities, the state government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to help make NSW businesses more competitive and innovative on a global scale, and better able to respond to national objectives for defence industry research and development by harnessing the world-class research capabilities available within the NSW university system.
NSW defence advocate Air Marshal (Ret'd) John Harvey AM said the DIN is calling for proposals to accelerate development of technology that can provide innovative solutions for defence capability challenges.
“The $50,000 grants being offered are a fantastic opportunity for NSW SMEs to harness the world-class research skills within our university system to help bring their technology concepts to reality for the benefit of Defence," said Harvey.
The DIN is calling for proposals from small–to–medium enterprises (SMEs) to work with university partners to accelerate development of early-stage technology concepts that have the potential to lead to defence innovations and solutions with opportunities for commercialisation in both local and overseas markets.
DIN support for seed projects is based on a co-investment model, where seed funding of up to $50,000 per project will be made available on a competitive basis, and will require commitment of matching funds from the industry partner. A successful proposal will see pairing of the industry partner with one or more member university research teams that have the expertise and capacity to deliver project outcomes in collaboration with industry capability.
To be successful, industry proposals for seed projects must meet the DIN’s selection criteria, including areas deemed to have the greatest potential for defence innovation:
- Medical countermeasures;
- Directed energies and advanced sensors;
- Multi-disciplinary materials science;
- Enhanced human performance;
- Trusted autonomous systems;
- Quantum technologies;
- Aerospace; and
- Cyber and intelligence.
Projects should be scoped to deliver outcomes within six-10 months and, to ensure substantive progress towards realistic goals, may be aimed towards a long-term program of research that will be well-placed for future funding initiatives.
Harvey said, "The DIN has brought together defence industry with seven universities, the Defence Science and Technology Group, and the NSW government through Defence NSW and the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to help make NSW and its defence businesses more competitive and innovative on a global scale."
Key selection criteria:
- Identified need in Defence (technology or capability);
- Novelty and potential to become world leading;
- Technical/scientific merits, scientific and technical risk, best collaborative team;
- Potential for impact and implementation pathway; and
- Capacity and capability of the SME to commercialise project IP.
The DIN is made up of NSW universities, including UNSW, University of Sydney, Macquarie University, University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, University of Newcastle and UTS.