The Government of Australia has awarded research funding to five Australian-led groups to support the development of necessary technology that will expedite the integration of advanced materials into military platforms.

A total of 14 Australian academic and industry groups responded to a joint Australia and UK call to address the challenges in advanced materials integration.

The selected groups received more than A$1.5m in funding through the Next Generation Technologies Fund under the Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) initiative.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “Joint research such as this not only strengthens our bilateral defence relationship but provides support and opportunities to each country’s respective defence industries to overcome the capability challenges we face.

“Our aim is to give the men and women of both defence forces a competitive advantage, and this programme will be a further important step in achieving that aim.”

The selected proposals include one from a Western Sydney University-led group, which will research the use of nanotechnology in more durable bonded joints.

A group comprising Qinetiq Australia will develop a modelling framework supporting the use of Multi-functional Shape Memory Alloy Tufted Composite Joints (MuST) technology while University of New South Wales-led team was selected to research the use of advanced materials in more effective armour.

RMIT University and BAE Systems will use the federal funding to develop more effective metal-to-composite hybrid joints by using advanced materials and a group featuring The University of Adelaide will develop improved means of examining areas where adhesives have been used in ageing military platforms.

Recently, the Australian Government awarded ten new Defence Innovation Hub contracts.