Submissions close 4 November 2021

The Next Generation Technologies Fund is seeking proposals


This program of work aims to use artificial intelligence to process noisy and dynamic data in order to produce outcomes to provide decision superiority to Defence.

The outcomes may include the ability to fuse data and construct causal models from a wide range of modalities and diverse forms, in large volumes, and collected at varied rates. The diverse data types may range from physically measured sensor data to discrete or tokenised data such as in natural language documents.

The focus of this call is Patterns in Noisy and Dynamic Data.

Defence Artificial Intelligence Research Network (DAIRNet) Call


This specific call is on the problem of finding patterns in noisy and dynamic data using Artificial Intelligence.

Information patterns (also known as data) may be unclear and may indicate anomalies that require investigation, or events of interest such as indications of a pandemic or attack.

The data will often be from multiple sources and be in diverse forms and large volumes. The rates of collection can vary and before patterns manifest, a combination of the data may need to occur.

We will consider proposals for up to 2.5 years of research plans and successful proposals may receive funding of up to $100,000 in the first 6 months with up to $500,000 available in the subsequent years.

Experimental findings and prototyped concepts are the expected outcomes.

The research areas


The DTSG team has gathered several use cases and provide examples for this general research area.

The detection of the presence of chemical or biological threats and the prediction of how they are spreading may not be apparent until effects are observed in humans.

Observations of subtle variations in biomarkers may lead to inferences that the human body has been exposed to toxic chemicals or dangerous biological pathogens.

An ambitious aim is to detect such events before poisoning or infection has harmful effects, i.e. very early after exposure, to maximise the effectiveness of possible interventions.

Major challenges arise from the fact that there are many causes for subtle biomarker variations; that these variations are not random; and that different humans react differently to threat exposure.

It is important to develop new accurate and differentiating data analytics and inferencing methods in parallel with novel wearable sensor technologies;

Significant amounts of data are collected for each flight an aircraft undergoes.

In addition to the volume of data, there is a variety of data related to flight dynamics and various on-board sensors.

One challenge is to use machine learning across this disparate data, looking for the signals that indicate anomalous events such as structural problems and predict times to failure in order to maximise uptime and availability of assets;

Missions involving multiple agent coordination (involving for example unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles) in complex environments will utilise an array of different sensing modalities and information sources including text, imagery from radar, infra-red and lidar.

The size limitations of these agents requires edge computing algorithms that are relatively fast, use small memory and low power.

An exemplar mission is finding hidden adversaries in congested, dynamic settings (e.g. urban) where information is multi-modal and requires fusion; objects of interest are moving and need to be tracked within limited fields of view; with operations at close range necessitating decisions being made in short timeframes.

Object detection and tracking may necessitate moving sensors based on 3-D representations of the space of interest. Compute limitations may necessitate processing on other platforms. One aspiration is to automatically describe these complex scenes using visual narratives.

Application process


Tender responses are to be submitted electronically via the AusTender website.

Industry briefing


DSTG will provide a research program brief to all interested parties via Microsoft Teams on 14 October 2021 at 11am (AEDT).

The brief will provide an opportunity to respond to questions and clarify information. Any questions after the brief has ended must sent in writing and DSTG will provide a written response to all parties.

Nominations to attend the briefing will must be in writing to the ISSR mailbox IISR@dst.defence.gov.au. The DSTG team will sent out a Microsoft Teams invite once they have received the nomination.

For security purposes:  At the time of nomination, you must include Full Name, Organisation, Position, Mobile Telephone No. and email address of all nominated personnel.

Contact officer and RFP inquiries


Proposers are to direct any questions or concerns regarding this RFP in writing to the Contact Officer.

Email: IISR@dst.defence.gov.au

Proposers may submit questions or concerns to the Contact Officer up until five Working Days prior to the Closing Time specified in the Tender Details Schedule.

The call for proposals closes at 2pm (AEST) on 11 November 2021.

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