University students have been invited to leverage their skills for defence and national security R&D.
Defence has rolled out a new entrepreneurship program, D.Start Catalyst, designed to provide university students from across the country with an opportunity to explore innovative solutions to defence and national security challenges.
As part of the initiative, modelled on similar programs launched in the US and the UK, Defence will partner with not-for-profit organisation Common Mission Project to establish the program in local universities.
Common Mission Project has been tasked with providing Defence with insight into the US and UK programs, delivering training for university staff and Defence personnel, and co-ordinating the delivery of university courses to students in a range of disciplines.
D.Start Catalyst builds on the success of pilot program ‘Hacking for National Security’, conducted at the University of NSW earlier this year.
"D.Start Catalyst will allow us to access fresh talent within Australian universities and tap into the benefits of lean start-up methods, including world-class market research, resulting in faster delivery of Defence capabilities," chief of the science engagement and impact division, Dr David Kershaw, said.
"The program is also part of Defence's effort to reach the STEM community and to attract the best and brightest into Defence and defence industry careers.”
D.Start Catalyst forms part of the Defence Research Accelerator program, which aims to foster an understanding of the Defence problem space within the Australian educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Defence Research Accelerator is an initiative of the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF), expected to invest $1.2 billion in innovation projects across academia and industry.
D.Start Catalyst follows on from the D.Start Ignite program, which provides university teams and SMEs with collaboration opportunities with Defence, delivered in partnership with the CSIRO.