The State Government has laid the groundwork for Western Australia (WA) to be at the forefront of cutting edge science and innovation with the establishment of the Defence Science Centre (DSC).
According to a recent press release, the DSC is the product of collaboration among the State and Commonwealth governments, including four public universities in Western Australia.
With the formalisation of this partnership, the defence-related research opportunities for WA researchers can be maximised.
Western Australia’s Defence Science Centre
Among the Centre’s key roles is to act as a matchmaker between universities, government and industry to support security and technology development, as well as capability requirements with a particular focus on the State’s defence industry.
A researcher from the University of Western Australia (UWA) is already working as part of a national research team looking at realising the benefits of augmented reality devices.
The project seeks to understand risks and identify ways of realising enhanced capabilities through the development of a prototype adaptive AR interface.
This shows how the Centre will link Western Australian researchers with cutting-edge defence technology.
Creating partnerships and linkages is vital
The centre will facilitate university-government-industry research and skills exchange via actively cultivating relationships and linkages.
DSC grants will be an important tool in supporting the facilitation of these exchanges and will set the conditions for commercial opportunities in industry, and business development.
Additionally, it will partner with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute to increase the number of internship projects undertaken by SMEs in the State’s defence sector.
It will also see 10 STEM PhD students placed into industry to undertake short-term focused research projects.
The establishment of the Centre is a key outcome of the State Government’s Western Australia Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan.
Working together for the Centre’s success
Several parties were involved in its creation including the Defence West, the Defence Science Technology Group of the Department of Defence, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
Curtin University has world-recognised expertise in digital innovation, engineering marine acoustics and a global capability in the issues being faced in the future of work.
ECU is committed to making a difference through programs that are relevant and responsive to the real world needs of the community.
The University of Western Australia is at the forefront of research and development in the energy and resources sectors, as well as the disciplines of marine engineering and science.
The spin-off from these areas can help to develop solutions for the nation’s defence technology requirements.
Murdoch is a research-led university, which focuses on multidisciplinary translational research with real-life impact.
Murdoch University’s research will help to solve many challenges faced by Australia’s Defence Forces, particularly its work in optimising human cognitive and physical performance.
Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia highlighted that developing a DSC in WA will greatly enhance collaboration between the academic and industry sectors, and makes WA part of a broader national network of defence-related research.