As we approach the end of the year, many government departments start tapering off their Approaches to Market, or issue Requests for Tender with long open periods taking into account the upcoming holidays. Defence, however has issued two opportunties for small business and research organisations to apply for funding under the Next Generation Technologies Fund with one opportunity closing within the next few weeks. This Fund focuses on research in emerging and future technologies with a planned investment of $730 million between now and 2026.
The first of these opportunities is a Call for Proposals for research in the area of Intelligent Decision Superiority. This is a program of work that, through automation and artificial intelligence, aims to improve the quality and speed of the processing, dissemination, exploitation, analysis, fusion and integration of ISR data to provide decision superiority to the ADO. The department is seeking proposals for up to 2.5 year research plans with successful proposals being funded up to $100,000 in the first six months and up to $500,000 in subsequent years.
Successful bidders will be contracted for 6 months with two 12 month extension options. This opportunity is open, subject to security considerations, to registered Australian (and New Zealand) businesses and Public Funded Research Organisations only and closes 21 December 2018.
The second opportunity is aimed at small businesses seeking research funding for a new innovation under the Small Business Innovation Reasearch for Defence (SBIRD) program. This program encourages Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) including University start ups to undertake research projects through the Next Generation Technologies Fund. Proposals will be required to describe projects that demonstrate an idea/technology that has a real viability to function, while scoped around what is achievable within a maximum budget of $150,000 in a time frame of between 6 – 9 months. It is important to note the mandatory requirements of the application including the series of plans that detail the project’s merits and feasibility. This application closes 1 February 2019.
If neither of these suit the innovation you may be seeking funding for, the Defence Innovation Hub offers opportunties for unsolicted proposals all year round, for ideas that are at various stages of development, across any Defence relevant application.