NSW will turbocharge the development of its sovereign capability in critical industries like defence, aerospace and manufacturing through a $12 million NSW Government investment in its Research Networks.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the four-year extension of funding for the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) and the NSW Space Research Network (SRN) will provide more opportunities to turn ideas into real-world solutions, jobs and new industries.

 “We are investing in our human capital to help our innovative researchers unlock their potential and turn their ideas into solutions that will grow the economy and secure a brighter future for the people of NSW,” Mr Henskens said.

 “The defence industry, the space industry and smart sensing technologies will be critical to our nation’s prosperity and NSW is best placed to lead the way when it comes to innovation and commercialisation of research in these areas.

 “Our Research Networks provide the framework to do that by fostering collaboration between government, academics and industry and finding solutions to some of the most complex challenges we face.”

 Through this NSW Government’s commitment, the DIN is providing $450,000 in funding to support three defence innovation projects in its Pilot Project grant scheme:


  • The University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, BlueZone Group and Vyom Tech will develop a prototype system to assess military diver health;
  • Western Sydney University, in partnership with The University of Sydney and Australian company AU Cloud, are examining how to fuse data sources and distribute data processing across a constellation of satellites; and
  • The University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney will deliver a system for monitoring the structural health of autonomous air vehicles.


NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the projects would improve defence capabilities underwater, in the air and in space. 

“This funding aims to accelerate multi-institutional collaborative research projects, to conduct rapid feasibility studies of new ideas and develop them into concepts that can attract further investment,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

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