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.



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.



Applications close 18 September 2020.


More Information


Next Generation Technologies Fund – Financial Year 2016-17

Grand Challenges and Defence Cooperative Research Centres (DCRC) (large-scale) – $5 million

NGTF Portfolio ElementFY 2016-17 BudgetPartners (current and planned)
The first Grand Challenge addressing ‘Counter Improvised Threats’ is ready to launch with a national call in March 2017$2.5 millionCurrent partners in the Challenge scoping phase only:Teledyne Australia, University of South Australia, Wollongong University, Adelaide University
The first DCRC in Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) is strongly engaged nationally with a national call for participation followed by beginning operations in the second half of 2017$2.5 millionCurrent: Initial request for information has been solicited from public funded research agencies and 25 universities across states and territories who participate in Defence Science Partnerships

Strategic Research Projects (mid-scale) – $9 million

NGTF Portfolio ElementFY 2016-17 BudgetPartners (current and planned)
Medical Countermeasures: Four projects with twelve partners have been collaboratively funded through the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC). Funding contributions have come from the NGTF, CSIRO and Participants in the program. A second national call for projects is underway.$2.5 millionCurrent: Certara Australia, Planet Innovation, Anteo Diagnostics, MiniFab, Trajan Scientific Australia, Hydrix, Deakin University, Monash University, University of Western Australia, University of Wurzburg, CSIRO, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) UK
Hypersonics, Directed Energy and Advanced Sensors: The next in a series of new hypersonics flight trials, HiFire4, is in development with national and international collaborators. Launch is planned for June 2017$2.2 millionCurrent: University of Queensland, Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, and the US Air Force Research Laboratory
Cyber: a Defence-CSIRO (Data61) partnership with co-investment from CSIRO$2.5 millionPlanned: funding disbursed through CSIRO to: University of South Australia, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology
Quantum Technologies: Six research projects with nine national centres of expertise have been scoped and targeted for commencement FY 2016-17 in the areas of computing, communications and quantum sensors$500kPlanned: Australian National University, University of Western Australia, Adelaide University, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Quintessence Labs, ADFA, CQC2T
Multidisciplinary Material Sciences: Nine projects involving 16 partner research institutions are scoped and ready to begin$1 millionPlanned: Monash University, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Adelaide,  University of Tasmania, Wollongong University, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO, ANSTO, Siemens Ltd, SES Pty Ltd, ANSTO, BAE Systems

Innovation and Exploration (small-scale) – $2.8 million

NGTF Portfolio ElementFY 2016-17 BudgetPartners (current and planned)
Defence Research Accelerator: Small-scale investments in pilots (the successful US program Hacking 4 Defence is being piloted in Australia to meet Australian defence purposes). This program will leverage existing accelerators (e.g. CSIRO’s ON Prime program) to address Defence requirements$210kCurrent: BMNT partners
Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD):Defence is establishing a pilot program to fund research in small-to-medium enterprises and start-ups from academia, modelled on successful international programs. The pilot will initiate with a national, open call for research proposals in April 2017.$600kPlanned: The pilot will initiate with a national, open call for research proposals in April 2017.
Defence Science Institute (DSI) Networks: Defence will continue to support the DSI in Victoria and leverage the model to establish new state-based university research networks in New South Wales and South Australia.$550kPlanned: South Australian and New South Wales Universities will start to receive funding in Q2 2017.  
University Research Networks in Enhanced Human Performance: In the land domain, a research network addressing battlefield casualty survival and recovery is ready to call nationally for Expressions of Interest. In the air domain, a research program in the area of team performance and training is finalising four research agreements for seed funding with two Australian universities. Scoping studies will begin in March 2017.$600kPlanned: In the land domain, partners will be chosen through a national, open call in March 2017. In the air domain, seed funding is allocated to Deakin University and RMIT University.
Technology Foresighting: The next in The Emerging and Disruptive Technology Assessment Symposium series will be held in April – May 2017, addressing ‘Information, Knowledge and Digital Disruption in Defence’.Two further events are planned for FY 2017-18, in the field of Advanced Manufacturing and Materials and Advances in Biotechnologies.$600kCurrent: Noetic Solutions Pty Ltd

Media Release

Defence small businesses will be recruited to join the fight against cyber threats under a new industry support program being launched today.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Australian small businesses will receive funding to develop ambitious, game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.

The Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA) will offer Australian small businesses significant opportunities to investigate innovative and visionary projects that will contribute to improving Defence industry’s ability to support Australian Defence Force capability priorities.

Support of up to $300,000 per proposal will be provided for projects for up to 18 months.

Minister Price said ICERA is being funded through Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, in a new scheme that will provide $36 million over six years.

“Australia’s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes,” Minister Price said.

“This change is something which has been clearly highlighted in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update that was released recently.

“Our small business sector has a more important role than ever in contributing to Defence’s science and technology research priorities that support ADF capability needs.

“Which is why I welcome that the first focus of the ICERA initiative is targeting on cyber defence and cyber security.”

Later rounds of ICERA are expected to focus on a range of other priority areas, including integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, medical countermeasures, space, and trusted autonomous systems.

The Morrison Government is continuing to invest in Australia’s growing defence industry, which is playing an essential role in our economic recovery post-COVID-19.

Successful projects may be considered for further funding or opportunities through other avenues and mechanisms.