Next Generation Technologies Fund

Next Generation Technologies Fund 1

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What is the Next Generation Technologies Fund?

The Next Generation Technologies Fund is a cornerstone of the Turnbull Government’s $1.6 billion investment in defence industry innovation to build a technologically-advanced Australian Defence Force of the future.



The Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub form the core of a new integrated defence innovation system. The new Centre for Defence Industry Capability is the front door and primary access point to the defence innovation system. Together these initiatives will contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity and jobs growth.

The opportunities offered under the Next Generation Technologies Fund are varied and challenging. They demand smart thinking, intensive research and sustained collaboration to succeed. The Australian Government looks forward to these opportunities being transformed into effective capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.


Partnering Opportunity

Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) through its NGTF program is seeking research and development proposals from Australian SMEs to contribute to Australian Defence Force Capability. Up to $6M may be awarded to the Defence SME sector as part of this initiative.

The NGTF is looking for innovative proposals from agile SMEs who are able to adapt to current national and international circumstances to help contribute to Defence’s innovation agenda. As an example, applicants may propose to develop and validate next generation concepts or evolve existing technologies to deliver leap ahead capabilities.

Inter-organisational collaboration will not be mandated as part of this initiative, collaboration will however be supported where it can be managed in a way that is consistent with evolving COVID-19 related Commonwealth and State government guidance, managed remotely and conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

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Next Generation Technologies Fund


The Next Generation Technologies Fund will now consider proposals up to a value of AUD $300,000 (excluding GST). This is an increase on the previously advertised AUD $250,000 (excluding GST) on the DST portal. The AUD $300,000 is now consistent with the Minister for Defence Industry.


Technology Priority Areas

Tier 1 Priority

  • Cyber

Tier 2 Priority

  • Enhanced Human Performance
  • Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Medical Countermeasure Products
  • Trusted Autonomous Systems

Tier 3 Priority

  • Advanced Sensors
  • Directed Energy Capabilities
  • Multidisciplinary Material Sciences
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Space Capabilities



  • Proposals will only be considered from eligible Australian and New Zealand SMEs; with 200 employees (or fewer); which have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN); and which are registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Your SME may be incorporated (including incorporated trustees on behalf of a trust), a sole trader, or a partnership, however your proposal must clearly specify the legal entity (not merely your business name) which will be undertaking the project.
  • Proposals will not be eligible if they have been awarded funding (either directly or indirectly, by contract or by grant) for the same or similar proposal by the Department of Defence, or another Commonwealth, State, Territory government Department or Agency.
  • Project foreground Intellectual Property (IP) will vest in the lead SME partner on creation. The lead partner will be responsible for putting in place subcontracting arrangements should they be required as part of a collaboration.
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a NGTF Research Contract which will provide Defence with Commonwealth Purpose rights to foreground and embedded background IP. This does not include a license to commercialise the IP. The terms and conditions of the NGTF Research Contract will not be negotiated as part of this initiative. View the contract terms and conditions.
  • Successful applicants must hold and maintain public liability insurance of no less than $10m.
  • Successful applicants will be required to meet milestone reporting requirements, which will include an initial scoping report and a final report that enables the Commonwealth to assess project outcomes, and to exercise the aforementioned Commonwealth Purpose rights.
  • Applicants may be required to provide additional information to inform security assessments. Subject to the nature of proposals and Defence assessments, some personnel may also require security clearances to be eligible for funding. Only Australian citizens will be eligible for security clearances.

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Next Generation Technologies Fund

More Information

Latest News

Defence has signed contracts with the University of South Australia and Deakin University for two research projects which will use artificial intelligence to process noisy and dynamic data into information that will give military decision makers an edge.

The research projects are part of the Defence Artificial Intelligence Research Network (DAIRNet) Phase II call out and will receive a combined $1.746 million dollars of funding from the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

The purpose of DAIRN is to bring together experts from academia, industry, and government to collaborate on cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence (AI) and related fields. The research will focus on applications that can enhance national security, including the development of autonomous systems, decision-making support tools, and cybersecurity.

The contracts were signed by the Chief Defence Scientist, Dr. Cathy Foley, and the Vice-Chancellors of the participating universities. The government has committed $20 million over the next five years to support the research network.

The establishment of DAIRN is part of a broader effort by the Australian government to invest in AI and related technologies to support national security and economic growth. The government has also established a National AI Centre and announced a $1 billion investment in AI and quantum technologies as part of its 2030 Strategic Plan for Science and Technology.


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