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WA defence projects receive funding boost

Seven WA-based defence research projects have secured funding as part of a joint federal and state government initiative.

Seven WA-based defence research projects have secured funding as part of a joint federal and state government initiative.

The West Australian government has announced the recipients of the third funding round of the Defence Science Centre's (DSC) Collaborative Research Grant (CRG), with seven collaborative research projects sharing in approximately $870,000.


The recipients’ areas of research include weapon-mounted sensors, uncrewed aerial vehicles, space-based optical communications systems, and biological warfare defence.



Project title Team 
Assessing microbiologically influenced corrosion and material deterioration at HMAS Stirling. Dr Katerina Lepkova
Led by Curtin University in collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and Duratec Australia.
Using weapon-mounted sensors and machine learning to determine human-weapon-system performance. Professor Iain Murray
Led by Curtin University in collaboration with the University of Western Australia (UWA), DSTG and Nuheara.
Enhancing space-based optical communications using infrared technology. Emeritus Professor Mervyn Lynch
Led by Curtin University in collaboration with UWA, Aires and DSTG.
Modelling human processing mechanisms to maximise multisensory information processing efficiency in complex decision environments. Dr Zachary Howard
Led by UWA in collaboration with the United States Air Force, Defence and DSTG.
Delivery of uncrewed aerial vehicle via autonomous uncrewed ground vehicle for autonomous sensing/search of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environments. Elliot Nicholls, director
Led by Stealth Technologies in collaboration with UWA and DSTG.
Advanced development of therapeutics against bacterial pathogens of biowarfare concern. Dr Mitali Sarkar-Tyson
Led by UWA in collaboration with Murdoch University, Monash University and DMTC.
Developing innovative 'spray on' super-hydrophobic surfaces for marine antifouling applications. Dr Gérrard Eddy Jai Poinern
Led by Murdoch University in collaboration with DSTG and Curtin University.


To be eligible for grants under the DSC — which receives funding from both the WA government and the Commonwealth’s Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) — applicants were required to demonstrate a link to the NGTF’s priorities, or the CRG round three theme of maritime maintenance and sustainment.


The initiative, which provides seed funding ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, is available for collaborations between universities, industry and government, which include at least one DSC-member university.

The three rounds of funding have collectively delivered almost $2.5 million to 18 research projects, in support of a broader push to build the local defence industry and generate new job opportunities for local communities.

"Collaboration is key to growing the defence sector in Western Australia,” Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia said.

"The DSC's Collaborative Research Grant is helping build new connections between innovative small and medium enterprises and the defence research sector.

"By investing in innovative technologies, we are helping to strengthen WA's defence industry capabilities, commercialise emerging technologies and diversify the state's economy."

 [Related: Defence issues export grants to SMEs]

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.

WA defence projects receive funding boost
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