Research grants to strengthen WA's defence industry

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310
Ross Verne (Minister Papalia’s office): +61 437 429 485
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20 August 2020

WA’s Defence industry will be boosted with research grants worth almost $900,000 from the Morrison and WA governments.

Federal Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price and WA State Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia today announced six grants in the second round of the WA Defence Science Centre’s (DSC) Collaborative Research Grants.

DSC is one of five state-based organisations established by Defence and the states to promote participation of the academic sector and industry in Defence-related research.

It receives funding from the Australian Government’s Next Generation Technologies Fund and from the WA Government.

Minister Price said the Morrison Government was pleased to help foster the relationships between academic institutions and industry in embarking on world-leading research.

“We are proud of this partnership with WA and the significant commitment of the State leadership to investing in local defence industry and research organisations,” Minister Price said.

“These grants will develop enhanced capability for Defence and maintain the safety and well-being of our serving men and women.

“These projects will drive the long-term development of Australia’s defence industry as well as deliver national and local benefits.”

Minister Papalia said investing in the six projects through the Defence Science Centre would help raise WA’s profile in cutting-edge defence research and build capacity in its local defence industry.

“The funding will enable WA industry and the State and Federal governments to work with local universities to contribute to defence fields of research,” Minister Papalia said.

“Not only does the funding support local businesses and institutions for the life of the project, but it also gives them an opportunity to create lasting connections with world-leading research groups.”

The grants are each valued at up to $150,000 and total $883,000.

All four WA DSC member universities are involved in each of the research projects, with local WA businesses involved in three.

The successful research projects are:

  • Automatic searching and tracking of abnormal ground signals from a satellite constellation – led by Curtin University in collaboration with Edith Cowan University, Latconnect60 and the Defence Science and Technology Group; $142,920.
  • Virtual reality-enhanced advanced tactical parachute training – led by Edith Cowan University in collaboration with Curtin and Murdoch universities, Adventure Out Australia and the Department of Defence; $148,145.
  • Categorising lower body injury risk in female and male recruits through muscle-bone imaging – led by Edith Cowan University in collaboration with  the University of Western Australia, Deakin University, the WA Police Force, the US Army, University of Jyväskylä Finland and University of Notre Dame Australia; $150,000.
  • A deployable space domain awareness sensor system – led by Curtin University in collaboration with the University of Western Australia and local company Geng; $148,640.
  • Visual positional system to localise targets on a 3D map using a single drone image – led by the University of Western Australia in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group and Remsense; $144,166.
  • Investigation into the health and performance impacts of the Australian Special Forces selection course – led by Edith Cowan University in collaboration with the Department of Defence, University of Pittsburgh USA and CSIRO; $150.000.

The grants aim to further improve WA’s defence industry, create jobs, and support a key component of the WA Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan.

More information on the recipients and their projects can be found at

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