The state government of Western Australia has awarded eight grants worth A$1.19 million to regional defence researchers as part of the annual Collaborative Research Grant (CRG) program. The eight successful projects cover a broad range of fields of study, including maritime surveillance, modelling for tracking misinformation, and diver communication systems. The 2022 round of the CRG program received its highest ever number of grant applications, with 29 research programs applying for up to $150,000 of financial assistance each.

One successful grant recipient, Dr Mitali Sakar-Tyson and her project ‘Preclinical testing of novel compounds against multi-drug resistant bacteria of biological warfare concern’, was originally awarded $150,000 by DSC in 2019. The initial grant assisted Sakar-Tyson to implement her research outcomes with the Defence Materials Technology Centre where she is now developing new drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Project name 

Lead Researcher 

A compact non-cryogenic high-precision magnetic-field sensor for maritime surveillance 

Senior Lecturer Dilusha Silva 

Led by UWA in collaboration with L3 Harris 

Advanced fabrication of cold atom traps for an Australian portable quantum optical clock 

Dr William Rickard 

Led by Curtin University in collaboration with UWA, University of Adelaide, and Australian National University 

Data-driven maintenance optimisation for the Collins Submarine Fleet 

Professor Ryan Loxton 

Led by Curtin University in collaboration with Australian Submarine Corporation 

Dynamic two-way communication using gestures for human-machine teaming 

Dr Syed Zulqarnain Gilani 

Led by Edith Cowan University in collaboration with UWA, Chironix, Agili8, and Motium 

Eliminating the need for adaptive optics in satellite optical communications 

Dr David Gozzard 

Led by UWA in collaboration with Curtin University and Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station 

Expendable energy absorbing tamper material for restricting the effects of a surface mounted explosive charge 

Dr Gérrard Eddy Jai Poinern 

Led by Murdoch University 

Psychologically-informed mathematical modelling of misinformation spread 

Dr Mengbin Ye 

Led by Curtin University in collaboration with UWA 

Situational aware undersea acoustic diver communication system 

Professor Yue Rong 

Led by Curtin University in collaboration with ECU, O2 Metocean, and Precision Technic Defence 

Since the program started in 2019, over A$3.35 million has been provided to help support 24 defence research projects in WA and generated an additional 14.8 full time equivalent research positions. By diversifying research and development efforts across defence-relevant technology areas, the CRG aims to increase the impact of research outputs and improving industry and academic linkages. 

The CRG is one of the collaboration initiatives of the WA Defence Science Centre which seeks to support the Defence Science and Technology Strategy ‘More together 2030’, by leveraging State-based defence research networks and encourage multi-partner collaboration. The CRG funding is co-contributed by Defence through the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

The Defence Science Centre’s CRG program supports the strategic goals of the state government’s Western Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, which aims to grow the local defence sector and create jobs.

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia said “Western Australian university and research organisations are paving the way for the next generation of defence technology. The State Government is committed to supporting these cutting-edge research programs, and ultimately contributing to Australia’s sovereign defence capability. Through the CRG, we are strengthening WA’s defence industry capabilities, commercialising emerging technologies and supporting the diversification of the state’s economy.”

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