National Security Science and Technology Centre

  • Program Type
  • Industry Focus
    Academia, Industry

Currently, Defense, specifically Defense Science and Technology (DST), has the responsibility to coordinate national security science and technology. DST is recognized as having expertise across key areas of science and technology delivery, experience in establishing and managing diverse research programs, and strong connections with domestic and international science and technology providers.

More, together | Defence S&T Strategy 2030

Australia faces an increasingly challenging and contested security environment over the next decade. The 2016 Defence White Paper outlined the Government’s commitment to ensuring Australia maintains a regionally superior Australian Defence Force (ADF) with the highest levels of military capability and scientific and technological sophistication.

To meet the challenges of our evolving context, the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group has led the development of a new science and technology (S&T) strategy for Defence, in consultation with senior leadership across Defence, industry, academia and international partners.

More, together marks an important step in taking us into the future to deliver strategic advantage across the full spectrum of Defence capabilities. Focusing our national S&T enterprise on mission-directed research will ensure Defence is best positioned to realise capability advantage in a rapidly evolving environment.

The Strategy is underpinned by three strategic pillars and introduces the Science, Technology and Research concept, also known as the STaR Shot concept. The STaR Shots focus the national S&T enterprise on Defence objectives to deliver leap-ahead capabilities, while the strategic pillars enable the STaR Shots and support the broader Defence S&T program.

The responsibilities of the National Security Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC) within DST are to:

Coordinate whole of government national security science and technology, to prioritize requirements, provide governance, reduce duplication, deliver science and technology assurance and improve impact;

Assure delivery of science and technology value by fostering academic and industry science and technology partnerships to build national science and technology capability and enhance targeted delivery to Australian national security agencies;

Lead international research collaboration to leverage state of the art capabilities for Australia and to provide regional science diplomacy;

Manage DST's national security science and technology program, maximizing dual-use application of DST sovereign capabilities.

The six national security science and technology priority areas are:

Technology Foresight
The ability to monitor, analyse and evaluate the implications of scientific and technological developments to prevent strategic and tactical surprise.

The ability to collect, analyse, integrate, assess and disseminate intelligence with the accuracy, scale and speed required to support timely national security and intelligence decision making.

Preparedness, Protection, Prevention and Incident Response
The ability to appropriately equip and prepare Australian agencies to effectively address national security threats and natural or man-made destructive events, including mass-harm and mass-damage incidents, either by preventing their occurrence, or responding and recovering effectively if they have occurred.

Cyber Security
The ability to strengthen the cyber security and resilience of critical infrastructure and systems of national significance through the conduct of research and development, and the delivery of advanced cyber technologies, tools, techniques and education.

Border Security and Identity Management
National security community’s ability to protect and secure Australia’s borders from disease outbreaks, hazardous material and threats to our community, including maximum disruption effect on illegal activity and migration with projected growth in people and cargo movement across Australian borders

Investigative Support and Forensic Science
Law enforcement’s ability to prevent, disrupt and prosecute terrorist and criminal activities in a complex transnational and evolving digital environment.

Future Phases

Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


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To apply or join the program, please submit an application.