Next Generation Technologies Fund

The Next Generation Technologies Fund is a forward-looking program focusing on research in emerging and future technologies, including technologies that may deliver on a time horizon greater than ten years. Innovative technologies and concepts researched under the Next Gen Tech Fund could be further developed and realised into capability through the Defence Innovation Hub.

The Next Generation Technologies Fund will invest $730 million over the decade to 2026. The program is managed by Defence Science and Technology Group, Department of Defence.

Next Generation Technologies Fund application booster


Dr Karen O’Connor and Dr Dan Billing, of Defence Science and Technology, give an overview of the Next Gen Tech Fund.

The opportunities for collaborative research advertised on this page are funded by the Next Generation Technologies Fund. The Next Generation Technologies Fund supports research in emerging and future technologies, including technologies that may deliver on a time horizon greater than ten years.

Partnering options under the Next Generation Technologies Fund allow for choice and flexibility in scale and time to delivery - from ambitious 'Grand Challenges' to lean and focused technology acceleration. This allows Defence to engage a range of research partners, individually or in terms, from start-ups to primes and national research organisations.

Open opportunities:

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For most funding opportunities the Next Generation Technologies Fund will issue a call for proposals that describes the specific requirement you may be able to respond to.

Currently unsolicited proposals cannot be considered by the Next Generation Technologies Fund. However, you can submit an unsolicited proposal to the Defence Innovation Hub.

How research proposals are assessed and funded

Your proposal will be assessed by subject matter experts in Defence Science and Technology (DST), or externally if required, for its potential to deliver innovative military capability. DST will manage most proposals that are funded through the Next Generation Technologies Fund. Others will be managed by external partners, such as Data61 and the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC).

Proposals originally funded through the Next Generation Technologies Fund during the early research and development phase may seek future funding through the Defence Innovation Hub as the proposal matures. However, generally a single proposal will not receive funding from both the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub at the same time.

Next Generation Technologies Fund priorities

The priority areas for the Next Generation Technologies Fund research projects are:

  1. Integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – effective enterprise intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance integration and interoperability with our allies will provide a capability edge through superior battlespace awareness.
  2. Space capabilities – de-risking Defence's dependence on space-based systems through technical expertise and enhanced capability agility.
  3. Enhanced human performance – including enhancing soldiers' resilience and ability to interpret and use data in the battlefield.
  4. Medical countermeasure products – establishing and coordinating a national infrastructure for the rapid development of medical countermeasure products to provide effective protection of Defence personnel from a range of chemical, biological and radiological threats, pandemics and emerging infectious diseases.
  5. Multidisciplinary material sciences – investigating technological advances to reduce detection of ADF platforms and improve ballistic and shock protection. Exploring materials and processes that support advanced manufacturing.
  6. Quantum technologies – increasing the security of military and government communications and computing through strengthened encryption and exploring new types of sensors based on quantum systems.
  7. Trusted autonomous systems – researching developments in trusted autonomous systems that may have the potential to support ADF capability in the future, such as the use of autonomous vehicles for resupply.
  8. Cyber – establishing a research and development capability to address the threats presented by information and communications technology dependencies and vulnerabilities within military systems.
  9. Hypersonics – understanding the science behind hypersonic flight, including propulsion, flight dynamics, control surfaces and materials that support flight systems.
  10. Directed energy capabilities – conducting research to explore novel technologies and the basic sciences of devices to better understand and develop building blocks for future directed energy capabilities.
  11. Advanced Sensors – enabling the development of below-water and above-water sensors needed for the autonomous surveillance of the undersea environment to establish a:
    • strategic national capability in advanced piezo-electric materials
    • world-class Australian body of expertise on emerging precision magnetometry technologies
    • sovereign capability in advanced single photon detection and classification technologies

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