A series of collaboration vehicles have been established by the Next Gen Tech Fund:
- Grand Challenges - Grand Challenges are large-scale cross-disciplinary initiatives supporting research into defence and national security challenges of significance to Australia. These initiatives will be high-impact and scientifically complex, involving collaboration across DST and with external partners. They will require deep scientific and technical expertise across many disciplines, and integrated and productive collaborations with industry, universities and government.
- Defence Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) - The Defence CRC program will create a number of research centres that bring together industry (particularly SMEs), academia and publicly funded research agencies to foster mission-driven research into priority technologies that will future-proof Defence capability.
- Australia–US Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI) - The AUSMURI program aims to strengthen Australian university research capacity, skills and global networks by providing grants to Australian universities involved in approved submissions on designated topics under the US MURI program.
- University Research Networks (URNs) - URNs bring together academic researchers from multiple universities and DST scientists to collaborate on research topics relevant to the development of future Defence capabilities. As part of the Next Gen Tech Fund, these cross-disciplinary projects span 3-5 years.
- Strategic Research Program - an ongoing program of strategic research initiatives aligned with Defence priorities. Where a specific new concept or technology domain shows potential to be developed into game-changing capabilities, further research will be undertaken under the auspices of the Next Gen Tech Fund, using partners from across the innovation enterprise.
- Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) - SBIRD will support SMEs to work on research projects aligned with defence priorities through the Next Gen Tech Fund. SBIRD projects may relate to specific problems identified by Defence, or have a broader scope across an emerging technology field with potential for disruptive innovation.
- Defence Research Accelerator - This program will work with existing accelerators within the national innovation system, such as CSIRO’s ON Prime program, to support the start-up community with an interest in Defence.
- Technology Foresighting - The foresighting program brings together internationally recognised leaders and academic partners to consider the current defence environment, forecast future challenges and shape long-term defence vision. The Emerging and Disruptive Technology Assessment Symposium series is one of Next Gen Tech Fund’s headline foresighting activities.