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Victoria’s Defence Science Institute (DSI) is calling for proposals in support of a $1 million initiative to advance the development of prototypes for enhanced resilience against chemical and biological threats.

Working together with Defence’s 'Operating in CBRN Environments' STaR Shot, the DSI Hazardous Agent Challenge (DSI-HAC) has been designed to assist with the formation of multidisciplinary teams in support of the challenge and is open to industry and academia from across Australia.

The initiative is designed to link local Victorian capability strengths in this area with complementary capability in other states to facilitate national collaboration in support of ADF requirements.

“Innovative advances in technology are crucial to boosting Defence’s contribution to national security in response to potential threats. This initiative highlights the value of collaborating with Australia’s industrial and academic sectors to support Defence and strengthen our sovereign knowledge base," Dr David Kershaw, Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, said.

Funded by Defence through the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) and the Operating in CBRN Environments (OCE) STaR Shot, the initiative leverages NGTF priority themes in Advanced Sensors and Enhanced Human Performance to support the development of prototype demonstrators in the following areas:

  • Sensing (Wearable Sensors and Deployed Surveillance): Novel sensor technologies and heterogeneous sensor networks for early detection of chemical or biological threats or accurate characterisation of low concentrations of toxic industrial chemicals at large standoff distances.
  • Warfighter Resilience: The translation of data gathered from non-invasive wearables into actionable insights that would enhance the warfighter’s ability to predict and extend their capacity to perform their mission under OCE threats and stresses.

Proposals are invited which will support the development of prototype solutions to enable the ADF to respond faster, more flexibly and more resiliently to chemical and biological threats and achieve enhanced situational awareness in contaminated environments for prolonged periods of time.

Up to $1 million will be available to fund 'ground-breaking' innovations.

Further details about the call-out and application process are available on the DSI website.

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