Applications for participation in the new Defence Future Capability Technology Centre (DFCTC) are now open, with a call for proposals to set up the Centre in 2008. Applications close on 14 September, with the final decision to be taken before the end of the year.
Arising from the Defence Industry Policy released earlier this year, the role of the Centre will be "To nurture the innovation needed to maintain the Australian Defence Force's capability edge”. According the Defence, “The Government is promoting a closer working relationship between Defence, academia and the private sector".
The Centre will be modeled on the attributes of the Cooperative Research Centres program administered by the Department of Education, Science and Training, but will be targeted at developing a specific future defence capability.
The Centre will facilitate collaboration between publicly funded research organisations, leading Australian universities and Defence Industry. According to Defence, it is also part of its commitment to nurturing small-to-medium enterprises.
Applications for participation in the centre will be accepted from universities, industry and publicly funded research agencies along exploring one or more themes, such as:
- integrated battlespace and systems integration
- chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives
- autonomous systems and robotics
- materials sciences
- electronic warfare self-protection
- high-energy electro-magnetics.