The Defence Materials Technology Centre has selected three projects to progress under Round Two of the Medical Countermeasures Program.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said more than 50 expressions of interest were received from across Australia, and that the three successful projects will share around $5 million worth of funding under the program.
“Flinders University, the Australian Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Institute and Adelaide-based SME Vaxine Pty Ltd will work collaboratively to advance the work on vaccines against Japanese encephalitis and related viruses,” Minister Pyne said.
“The University of Queensland will lead the development of magnetic nanotechnologies that will assist with the administration of anti-biotics by speeding up the diagnosis of microbial infections.
“Planet Innovation and research partners from CSIRO will partner on a project to further develop a deployable, point of care diagnostic system that can track outbreaks as they happen in real time, minimising the spread of disease.”
The project was part of Round One of the program, and is being extended under Round Two. The team have developed a novel POC device with a high-performance test cartridge to allow testing for a panel of infectious disease agents. This phase of the project is expected to add significantly to the POC device already in development, increasing its impact in both military and civilian applications.
Minister Pyne said the projects received technical expertise and support from industry and research partners as part of the program.
“That in itself is a great reflection of the dual purpose of the DMTC – to enhance Defence capabilities but to also to strengthen the industrial sector supporting Defence.”
He added the projects are a step forward in reducing Australia’s reliance on imported medical countermeasures products.
Medical countermeasures are an important sovereign capability for military or civilian personnel in a range of scenarios including biological warfare or chemical attacks, as well as the potential spread of global infectious disease pandemics.
This round of projects has been supported by funding from CSIRO and DST Group through the Next Generation Technologies Fund.