Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the Department of Defence will invest up to $25 million over the coming years to enhance the existing US Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant program.
"Defence will invest up to $25 million over nine years for Australian universities to leverage the existing US Multidisciplinary University [Research] Initiative grant program, which is administered by the US Department of Defense," Minister Pyne said.
The funding is being provided under the Next Generation Technologies Fund.
The new investment is part of the government's $1.6 billion investment in defence innovation, which aims to build the innovation capabilities of Australian industry and research organisations, and to deliver innovative solutions for Defence capability.
"The new Defence innovation system, encompassing the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub, supports an agile, transparent approach to innovation, ensuring Australian industry is prepared to meet defence’s future capability needs," said Minister Pyne.
The Australian program, called AUSMURI, will provide grants to support multi-disciplinary teams of Australian university researchers who collaborate with US academic colleagues on high priority projects for future Defence capabilities.
"I strongly encourage universities to apply for AUSMURI funding and take advantage of the opportunity to undertake joint research on cutting edge technologies for Defence," Minister Pyne said.
Until recently, Australian universities could collaborate on US MURI projects but were not eligible for grant funds.
Eligible universities that are successful in a collaborative US MURI submission will receive an AUSMURI grant of up to $1 million per year for three years to support their research in Australia.
At the end of the three years, the AUSMURI grant may be extended for a further two years based on performance and prospects, with an additional budget of up to $1 million per year.
"The AUSMURI program will build Australian expertise, capacity and networks in critical technology areas to give Defence a capability edge," said Minister Pyne.
For more information about applying for AUSMURI, click here.