The UK and Australia Governments have awarded teams from both countries funding worth £1.48m to develop proposals for the integration of composites, adhesives for structural joining, joining high-temperature structures and improving armour systems.

The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Australia’s DST Group collaboratively assessed the competition. UK teams awarded funding include Foresight Innovations, Hephaestus Consulting, Nottingham Trent University and Matrix Composites, TWI, the University of Surrey and QinetiQ, Zentraxa and QinetiQ Australia.

Australian teams awarded funding include Western Sydney University, Imperial College London, Metrologi, UNSW and Airbus Australia Pacific, QinetiQ Australia and RMIT, University of New South Wales, Imperial College London, Advanced Composite Structures Australia, University of Adelaide, Research Institute of Saint-Louis and Materials Science Institute, RMIT University and BAE Systems.

The programme is funded by the Australian Next Generation Technologies Fund and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) Materials for Strategic Advantage programme.

A common assessment framework for the programme was managed by the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).

UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said: “The UK and Australia have an enduring defence relationship. As we take on a range of new challenges, I am delighted we will be working together to ensure our personnel are armed with the most advanced technologies.

“These joint challenge projects represent both countries’ innovative visions for the future, whilst supporting our academic and industry partners.”

The joint project gives both countries access to research funded by a pooled fund of £2.52m to date. The newly-funded projects will run for two years.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “These joint challenge projects have not only strengthened our bilateral defence relationship but provide support to each country’s respective defence industries to overcome capability challenges we face.

“Academic and industry partners are vitally important to both defence forces. Through the Next Generation Technologies Fund, The Australian Government is committed to providing the best capability possible to the men and women who serve our nation.”