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DST Group undertakes rigorous, scientifically based analysis of Defence operations and capabilities to provide independent, impartial and timely advice.

Their Mission is to develop and employ trusted analytical methods and decision support tools that give Defence and national security decision superiority across all aspects of force design, operational planning, command and control, and support to the Australian Defence Force on operations. DST Group and the state-based innovation networks are launching a call to academia to collaborate on a number of Defence OR topics through the Operations Research Network (ORnet).

The intention is that projects will run for a period of up to 12 months commencing in August 2020. Individual project proposals can indicate work up to $100K. There will be an expectation of an in-kind contribution in the successful proposal.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 10 July 2020.


The ORnet is a collaborative initiative between Defence and academia that will bring together a network of universities to work on Defence problems. It was established to grow and strengthen the Australian operations research (OR) community’s ability to support Defence decision making, with a particular focus on Australian Defence Force design and employment. The intent of the ORnet is to provide coordinated pathways by which Defence can create enduring relationships between DST Group and academia to address challenging OR problems of national and strategic importance.

DST Group’s Modelling Complex Warfighting (MCW) Strategic Research Investment (SRI) program is a five-year program which seeks to revolutionise how DST Group undertakes OR to better handle the interaction of complex geopolitical, social, technological, economic and cultural factors impacting the capability of the current force and design of the future force.

Topics of Interest

This call will be comprised of two components:

• MCW SRI topics
• General Defence OR topics.

Universities who are signatories to the Defence Science Partnerships (DSP) 2.0 program are welcome to submit proposals to any/all topics contained in this call, and the Commonwealth reserves the right to fund all or none of the topic areas.

MCW SRI Topics

1. Dynamic Planning under uncertainty for Autonomous Analyst

2. Influence and interference in the Grey Zone

General Defence OR Topics

1. Comprehensive Simulation Meta-Modelling Capability

2. Defining new Metrics & Models for Land Conflict

3. Intelligent Simulation Development Augmentation

Call for proposals

Interested Australian universities are encouraged to identify relevant fields of endeavour or expertise where they would be willing to engage and partner with DST Group. Universities are requested to submit proposals in response to the OR topic of interest. Proposals should outline research outcomes relevant to the topic(s), research methods, and relevant research experience and papers. Proposals should be a maximum of 2 pages.

The selected applicants will then be invited to virtual workshops, facilitated by DST Group, to develop a more detailed research program.

Where appropriate, there will be an opportunity to aggregate multiple proposals into multi-party agreements at a later time, up to a maximum total value of $200k. DST Group will continue to play a central role in this relationship, but academic organisations may also wish to form their own connections and propose multi-party research teams to DST Group.


Monday 15 June 2020 – Call for research collaboration proposals

Friday 10 July 2020 – Closing date for research collaboration proposal submissions

From Monday 27 July 2020 – Selected partners are notified and invited to begin discussions on details of the collaboration

Monday 27 July to Wednesday 05 August 2020 – Discussions about work program requirements

Wednesday 05 August to Friday 22 August 2020 – Establishment and executions of collaborative research agreements

Friday 22 August 2020 to Wednesday 30 June 2021 – Duration of collaborative research agreements

Submitting Expressions of Interest

To submit an EOI for one of more research topics, please e-mail the required information to

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