Cook Government invests $900,000 in defence research

23 December 2023

Defence Science Centre awards six grants totalling $900,000 to WA researchers

  • Defence Science Centre awards six grants totalling $900,000 to WA researchers
  • The funds are part of the annual Collaborative Research Grant
  • Funding is a co-contribution between the Cook Government, Defence Science and Technology Group and Next Generation Technology Fund

An underwater messaging system, three dimensional environmental mapping technology and on-site monitoring of copper concentrations are some of the projects funded by the Collaborative Research Grant (CRG).

The CRG, now in its fifth year, received 16 applications for this round of grants with six being successful and sharing in $900,000.

Of the top six ranked projects, three were identified as being related to potential use in AUKUS related technologies.

Applicants are able to apply for grants up to $150,000 and projects are assessed against criteria for collaboration, feasibility and impact.

Last year saw CRG funds used to build a successful prototype of an unmanned robot which can be controlled by hand gestures via Virtual Reality glasses.

Since 2019 the program has provided over $4 million to support defence research projects in Western Australia.

The CRG is one of the initiatives delivered by the Defence Science Centre (DSC) which aims to facilitate increased collaboration between Defence, academia and industry within WA, in providing innovative solutions for Defence and national security.

The full list of research supported by the DSC can be found at:

Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Paul Papalia:

"The Collaborative Research Grant continues to assist in de-risking new research and maturing innovative concepts being developed by Western Australians.

"With the AUKUS partnership in effect, now is a very exciting time for WA defence researchers, as is reflected in the projects chosen for this year's grants.

"These grants are made possible through funding administered via the Defence Science Centre, an initiative co-funded by the State of Western Australia and the Commonwealth Government."


Collaborative Research Grant Recipients


University and Collaborators


Develop onsite electrochemical monitoring of copper concentrations in effluent from cleaning navy vessels



B3 Electronic Design


A novel in-plane micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) optical switching architecture for defence applications




Scalable Sensor Fusion for 3D Environmental Mapping


CMW Geosciences


A reliable underwater messaging system


M&R Solutions


Humans in/on/out of the Loop: Making AI Decisions Human Understandable in High-Performance Situations Involving Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (DecAI)

*Industry-led project*

UX Machines

UWA and Murdoch


Empowering the open source intelligence (OSINT) analyst through explainable models