The Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making Initiative 2022 (the Initiative) is now accepting applications.

The Initiative is a collaborative project between the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) expertise and capability in areas of significant importance to the Australian defence and national security community.

Individuals are invited to apply their skills and expertise to solve one of 30 AI and ML research and development-related challenges.

Successful applicants will be provided with a fixed value of $30,000 per project and could also be part of a national network focused on developing AI and ML technology, through the Defence AI Research Network (DAIRNet). There may also be the opportunity for project prototypes to be considered for progression through the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), or Defence and university sectors. However, there is no guarantee that successful applicants will receive further funding support.

The Initiative is being delivered on a national basis through the university defence state-based networks Defence Science Centre, Defence Science Institute, Defence Innovation Network, Defence Innovation Partnership and Queensland Defence Science Alliance.

The Challenge topics are listed here.

Project Requirements

Funded projects will demonstrate prototype solutions, in the form of a software tool or related product that demonstrates the solution(s) to the chosen Challenge.

Applicants must also provide project reports that detail the approach to the Challenge and an overview of the solution to enable assessment of project performance.

The funding amount is a fixed value of $30,000 per project.

The length of project must be three months.

The intent of the Initiative is to fund individuals to undertake separate projects. However, small team-based proposals may be considered, subject to available funding. Funding for a team-based proposal is restricted to the same arrangements for an individual.

Individuals may submit applications to as many Challenges as they wish. However, each project must be discrete and stand-alone from others.

Conditions of Funding

Funds can be used for direct costs associated with the project, including salary and salary on costs. Due to the small funding amount and desire to support capability, the funds cannot be used for the recovery of indirect overheads.

Only personnel listed on the application can be involved in the project or supported by the funds.


Applications will be accepted from small teams or individuals who meet eligibility requirements.

The Initiative is open to Australian citizens or permanent residents who reside in Australia and are currently employed by an Australian-based company, university or research organisation that holds an Australian Business Number (ABN).

There may be a requirement for identification, proof of citizenship/permanent residency, police and other background checks prior to the commencement of the project.

Project Outcomes and Deliverables

The aim of the Initiative is to fund short pilots to identify and propose a novel, prototype and nascent solutions and approaches to the designated Challenges and this will be discussed with successful applications.

There will be two milestones due, one at the end of May and the other at the end of June, and corresponding invoicing will be as per the standard contract terms.


The following criteria will be used to assess proposals:

  1. Relevance and alignment to the research problem (40%)
  2. Novelty, quality and feasibility of the approach (40%)
  3. Expertise in relevant technical field (20%)

Intellectual Property

Ownership of intellectual property developed using the funds will be retained by the successful applicants. All successful applicants will be required to grant a licence to the Commonwealth to use project intellectual property for Commonwealth purposes via an IP Licence Deed.

Submitting your Application

Applications will only be accepted via the Initiative’s Application Portal. Applications will be assessed by a Panel, and it is expected up to 50 projects could be funded.

Opening and Closing Timeframes

Applications will be accepted from 7 March 2022, closing at 3pm on 1 April 2022.

Contract arrangements

This program is funded by the Department of Defence and successful recipients will be required to enter into a research agreement with the Commonwealth. This initiative is based on the use of standardised research agreements (DSP Schedule 3 – Research Agreement for universities and the DSTG Research Agreement for industry) and the terms and conditions of which are not open to negotiation. Please ensure your organisation agrees to these conditions before submitting your proposal.

Applicants are encouraged to engage with their local, State-based Australian Defence Science and University Network (ADSUN) members, who can assist with the development of the applications. The ADSUN members for each State are as listed below.


Applicant Location Facilitation Network E-mail
Victoria, Tasmania Defence Science Institute (DSI)
NSW, ACT Defence Innovation Network (DIN)
South Australia, NT Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)
Western Australia Defence Science Centre (DSC)
Queensland Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA)

Getting help

Refer to our FAQs.

If you require other assistance or guidance to complete the application form, please contact DAIRNet.



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