Forging ahead – The Defence Science Institute’s collaborative efforts in a time of uncertainty

Forging ahead – The Defence Science Institute’s collaborative efforts in a time of uncertainty

In the past few months the world has undergone a massive upheaval. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rapid shift in gear with businesses and industry taking  an unprecedented blow. “The virus  is impacting on all sectors of our society, including Australia’s research sector. Industry across the nation has been called upon to retool, to manufacture medical equipment such as ventilators and surgical masks,” says John O’Callaghan, the Defence Science Institute (DSI) Chair and Victoria Defence Industry Advocate. 

Working in partnership with Defence Science and Technology (DST), DSI supports the defence R&D  community to develop technical solutions and capability which will support Defence now and in the future. DSI’s collaborative role includes connecting PhD students with companies to undertake world-class research of benefit for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) materiel. With support from the Victorian Government, DSI also invests in innovation in partnership with industry. This is critical to evolving the state’s manufacturing capability. 

In the midst of the global health crisis -  far from slowing its march- DSI has continued its efforts to facilitate defence collaborations with renewed vigour, partnering with university research entities, DST and industry to stimulate the Defence ecosystem and meet health and medical demands. This is a fine example of bringing Australians together to stem the pandemic scourge. 

Further in a time when small and medium businesses struggle to stay afloat, we are working to provide much needed financial and collaborative support to help keep their engines running. Using every tool in our shed including social media and e-newsletters, we are highlighting industry callouts for collaboration assistance to help fight COVID-19, facilitating partnerships between relevant parties and spearheading relief programs together with the government and our sister networks across the country. 

“The team at DSI, led by Adrian Pearce and his dedicated staff, has been working to address current COVID-19 research demands as well as positioning to support industry to play its role in assisting to restore Australia’s economy. Defence industry, led by thousands of SMEs, will be a substantial contributor to Australia’s recovery. DSI is a part of the jigsaw that will help in righting the economy,” John adds. 

As the world continues its battle against the pandemic that has threatened lives and livelihoods, we continue to foster innovative collaborations that address key defence challenges. To enable successful project outcomes and collaborations across disciplines, we offer a range of grants including RHD (Research Higher Degree grants), Industry Internship grants and Research Collaborative grants, opening the door to new partnerships and opportunities. 

Research Higher Degree Grant ([RHD]Given to University) 

Fostering strong partnerships, the RHD grant is designed to encourage collaboration between industry, DST Group, Defence or universities to develop the next generation of researchers.  

The RHD grant gives universities financial incentive to attract top post-graduate students looking for research opportunities in the field of defence science, who can go on to build strategic collaborations across the Defence eco-system in Australia. 

Industry Internship Grant (Given to Industry) 

The DSI works closely with APR.Intern, the only PhD internship program in Australia spanning all sectors, disciplines and universities, connect PhD students with industry through short-term research project. If you are a business located in Victoria, or if you would like to work with a student enrolled at a Victorian university, you may qualify for our Industry Internship Grant. 

Research Collaborative Grant (Given to Industry and University) 

The Research Collaborative Grant is designed to encourage joint projects between Victorian universities and local industry or Defence. Preference is given to new collaborations and for projects with immediate or potential leverage.  

Working closely with local industry, universities and Defence, DSI strives to champion, support and invest in new developments and collaborations, which will drive Australia forward. 

We encourage Victorian SMEs and researchers to contact us for more information on DSI grants and services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +61 3 9035 3961.  

Our doors are (virtually) open for business.  


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