The Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) is staging open days at its Melbourne laboratory for industry and academia to showcase innovative technologies being developed to give the ADF a capability edge.
The Partnerships Week event (6 to 10 June) is part of DST’s outreach campaign for closer ties with companies, universities and public research organisations to undertake collaborative research projects for Defence capability.
Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky said Partnerships Week was based on the successful event held in Adelaide last year.
“Our industry and university partners have said they value the interaction with our scientists and the opportunity to get involved with the specialist work we do for Australia’s defence and national security,” he said.
The event includes site tours, technology demonstrations, research capability displays, and access to Defence researchers to discuss new and emerging capabilities.
Among the attractions are unmanned aerial vehicles in flight to map an urban environment, the testing of body armour on sweating mannequins, electrochemical materials for next-generation camouflage, acoustic tiles for Australia’s stealth submarines, and aircraft wings being tested to extend the life of jetfighters.
Dr Zelinsky said DST had the responsibility for managing the $730 million Next Generation Technology Fund identified in the White Paper.
“To deliver on the Next Generation Technology Program, collaboration with industry and academia is critical, requiring multidisciplinary research by large teams working across institutional and national boundaries,” he said.
“Partnerships Week allows potential partner organisations to understand our current capabilities and future research priorities and explore R&D funding opportunities for Defence innovation.”
The week-long event also includes a day dedicated to opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for science teachers and students.
“We need to grow the pool of future scientists that Defence can draw on in the years ahead, so we have initiatives in place to encourage the study of STEM subjects,” Dr Zelinsky said.