SA defence innovation grants open


Applications are now being sought to receive funding from South Australia’s Defence Innovation Partnership’s Collaborative Research Fund.

Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $150,000 to support collaboration across government, universities and industry for early-stage defence-relevant research, development and innovation.

The CRF was established in 2018 to support research partnerships between industry, academia and Defence, across a wide range of disciplines.

Now in its seventh round of funding, the CRF has provided almost $4 million in funding to 29 South Australian-based projects.

Deputy SA Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries Susan Close said the CRF provides a launch pad for collaboration in a state known for its defence industry research.

Close said: “To date South Australian-based projects and project teams previously funded by the Defence Innovation Partnership received $9.9 million of follow-on funding to further develop their projects.”

Dr Stephen Warren-Smith from the University of South Australia said the SA grant had been key in advancing the project ‘Deep Sensing: Machine Learning Enhanced Optical Fibre Hydrophone’ (pictured) to proof-of-concept stage.

“The grant allowed us to work solidly for a year with a dedicated researcher and allowed us to do a proof-of-concept demonstration that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible.

“The big picture vision of the project is that if we could create an underwater network of sensors around Australia’s coastline, we could listen for adversaries who might be approaching Australia, very similar to the radar networks that we use now for above the ocean and in the air.

“Throughout the project we worked with our industry and university partners to achieve a sensitivity in optical fibres that surpasses existing electronic hydrophone technology.”

Picture: An optical fibre alignment stage that’s used for imaging optical fibre output

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