Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) Program: Joint AUS-UK Call for Defence Research

A Defence innovation initiative, the SBIRD program is managed through the Next Generation Technologies Fund. The program seeks to encourage a new generation of innovators in developing breakthrough technologies for the Australian Defence Force.

SBIRD projects:

  • May relate to specific challenges identified by Defence, or have a broader scope across an emerging technology field with potential for disruptive innovation.
  • Are research intensive and address future-focused challenges aligned with DST strategic direction and work programs.

SBIRD is a merit-based program with two phases:

  • Stage 1: specific challenges will be identified for each round, addressing a future Defence problem. Initial funding will allow research to be undertaken to assess the feasibility of the idea. As a guide, Defence Technology Readiness Levels range from 1 – 3 in Stage 1. Successful projects will be invited to apply for Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: further funding will be provided for research into testing the idea against the application (potentially proof of concept). Depending on the status of the technology, an invited proposal for Stage 2 might be taken up within SBIRD as a research-based project, or taken up by the Defence Innovation Hub for maturation and accelerated commercialisation.

Successful SBIRD project outcomes might be commercialised directly by the participant, be the subject of a separate development support application with the Defence Innovation Hub, or be adapted to support other Next Gen Tech Fund ventures such as a Grand Challenge or Defence Cooperative Research Centre.

Detail for specific challenges and how to apply is provided via a Call for Applications on the DST website or via Special Notices under the Call for Submissions on the Defence Innovation Portal 

Submission Due Date

  • Applications close 1 February 2019

Further Information


To discuss your application, please contact:

  • Professor Michael Webb, Director – Defence & Security, Teletraffic Research Centre for Mathematical Modelling
  • Paul Arthur, Business Partnership Manager (ECMS, Arts & Professions) for assistance with a submission.
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