Building an innovative and smart defence industry to pioneer research and the development of new technologies, is a key focus of the NSW Government, with $700,000 in pilot and seed funding delivered to cutting-edge collaborative research projects.

The NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) will deliver four pilot project and two seed project grants to successful researchers from the state’s leading universities.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the DIN had engaged with the industry’s best and brightest to support the development of advanced technologies for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“The NSW Government is working to build and grow the defence industry in the state and help small and medium-sized enterprises gain better access to local and global supply chain opportunities.

“Since its establishment, the DIN has supported 21 innovative research projects and invested more than $3 million in pilot project grants,” Mr Ayres said.

“Seed project grants have supported 14 projects that have grown into commercial products including DroneShield who developed drone detection technology using AI, OCIUS’s sensors to enhance situational awareness at sea, and autonomous Electric VTOL Aircraft from AMSL Aero.”

Director of the DIN Professor Bradley Williams, said the pilot project grants allow member universities to connect with industry and defence to conduct rapid feasibility studies on new ideas. “These ideas can then be developed into concepts or prototypes and attract further investment.”

The DIN will fund the following pilot projects:

Pilot Projects

$147,926 Neuromorphic Audio-Visual Scene Analysis for Underwater Collision Avoidance– led by Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney

$150,000 UAS Swarm Search Strategies with Intelligent Task-Specific Guidance– led by the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney

$149,292 Designing and optimising augmented reality Navy operations heads-up interface based on real-time mental load assessment– led by University of Technology Sydney, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales 

$149,829 Defence acquisition optimisation using quantum algorithms– led by Macquarie University and University of Technology Sydney

Seed Projects

$50,000 A Prototype for Adversarial Deep Learning Use Cases– Spinlock Security and UTS

$50,000 Development of novel crystal growth furnace allowing high-volume production of relaxor ferroelectrics for sonar applications– Critus and UNSW


The NSW Government, through Investment NSW, will invest $1.9 million to support the DIN’s activities over the next year, generating hi-tech solutions for Defence and creating a collaborative research environment.


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