Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has launched a new Defence Research and Innovation Network (DRIN) at The University of Adelaide.

The initiative will bring together industry and defence researchers to strengthen the country’s military capability. Researchers will be co-located across 25 sites within the university.

Pyne said: “This initiative will make a vital contribution to research collaboration in support of defence capability.

“I congratulate the University of Adelaide on its commitment to defence research collaboration, and for proactively setting up the tools and facilities for success.

“The sites will closely align to capability areas of defence interest, with the first sites being the trusted autonomous systems laboratory, and the institute for photonics and advanced sensing.”

“This initiative will make a vital contribution to research collaboration in support of defence capability.”

The university is also working on certain Next Generation Technologies Fund projects.

It is conducting ten early stage research projects in areas related to intelligence systems, trusted autonomy, autonomous tactical networks and unmanned vehicles.

As part of a separate project, Australian Defence Science and Technology (DST) is conducting a research to identify biomarkers that will help diagnose certain mental health disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The research will involve analysing blood samples taken from defence personnel posted to the Middle East area before deployment, immediately after deployment, and five years post-deployment.

The data collected will be then correlated with relevant mental health information.

According to a report released by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies in 2010, 54% of respondents experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime, compared with 49% of the general population.