Funding boost for national security research

Department of Defence

The Morrison Government has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping Australians safe by awarding almost $6 million in research grants to deepen understanding of emerging science and technology to address intelligence and national security threats.

Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP, today announced that eight Australian universities would receive funding for projects in the first round of the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program.

“The targeted funding for Australia’s higher-education sector will enhance our ability to deal with threats to our national interests through the development of cutting-edge technology,” Minister Dutton said.

Ten grants have been awarded to The University of Queensland, The University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Australian National University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, the University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide.

Minister Dutton said the grants would enable researchers to further develop a range of promising technologies from a handheld device for detecting illegal drugs, to tools for detecting and countering disinformation.

“Purposeful applications for research at Australian universities leads to increased defence collaboration, developing sovereign capabilities and delivering economic benefits to the nation,” Minister Dutton said.

The NISDRG enables the national intelligence and security communities to systematically engage with Australian researchers, ensuring Australia’s greatest minds are working together on some of the most important security challenges. The grants support research in line with the 2020 National Security Science and Technology Priorities

The NISDRG is jointly funded by Defence and the Office of National Intelligence, with the grants administration provided by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The ARC has long-standing expertise in grant administration through competitive peer review processes.

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