The Australian Government has established a Defence Science Centre (DSC) in Western Australia to enhance defence-related research collaboration between academia and industry.

The facility is a collaboration between the West Australian and Commonwealth governments and the state’s four public universities.

DSC aims to promote university-government-industry research and skills exchange by nurturing relationships and linkages.

Grants will be allocated through the centre to encourage commercial opportunities in the industry and business development.

Through DSC, the Western Australia Government will identify potential areas where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can participate in collaborative research.

The facility will allow SMEs access to the talent pool from the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s internship programme. Under the partnership, ten science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) PhD students will be offered a chance to take part in short-term focused research projects.

Furthermore, DSC will enhance the competitiveness of the local defence industry.

Universities that signed up for the DSC partnership include the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch and Edith Cowan.

The federal government has provided initial financial support of around A$250,000 to the DSC. Funding was made available through the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

“Developing a Defence Science Centre in WA will greatly enhance collaboration between the academic and industry sectors.”

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price noted that the facility will help form collaborations between the industry and universities to develop futuristic technologies.

Price said: “This centre follows in the footsteps of research networks in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, ones that are already enjoying success.”

Woodside Energy Intelligent and Autonomous Systems general manager Russell Potapinski has been appointed as the chairperson of the DSC advisory board.

WA Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia said: “Developing a Defence Science Centre in WA will greatly enhance collaboration between the academic and industry sectors, and makes us part of a broader national network of defence-related research.

“This will enable WA researchers to more easily link into projects, boosting our own state’s capability and future-proofing WA’s defence industry, keeping and growing skills and knowledge here and creating job opportunities for Western Australians.”