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DISER invests $32 million in CRC-Ps

Q-CTRL and its research partners have won a $1.75 million grant to help integrate quantum science into space manufacturing for defence and agriculture.


The Federal department of Industry Science Energy and Resources (DISER) has awarded more than $32 million in grants to 13 industry-led joint research projects under round 12 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative. These grants will help leverage a further $56 million of cash and in-kind contributions from 62 project partners.

Two of these projects are of direct relevance to the defence portfolio: Hypersonix’s DART hypersonic airframe receives $2.95 million as part of a $6.74 million R&D program; and Q-CTRL receives $2.75 million as part of a $5.5 million R&D program integrating quantum science into space manufacturing for defence and agriculture.

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said CRC-Ps helped strengthen links between industry and research organisations.

“These projects show how incredible problem solving is possible when businesses team up with researchers to address challenges that affect our lives and how we work,” Minister Price said.

Since the first round of CRC Projects in 2016, the Government has awarded more than $408 million in funding under the CRC-P Program to support 189 projects.

These projects include more than 900 cooperating partners from industry, research, government and community organisations, and are leveraging $910 million in partner contributions.

CRC-Ps can run for up to three years and must have at least two Australian industry partners, including one small or medium sized business, and one Australian research organisation partner.

In the DART CMP Airframe project Hypersonix Launch Systems Pty Limited is working with partners LSM Advanced Composites Pty Ltd, the University of Southern Queensland and Romar Engineering Pty Ltd to develop a composite reusable hypersonic platform capable of Mach 12.

This will be powered by the company’s SPARTAN hydrogen fuelled scramjet engine. Thie project takes advantage of the weight savings and reusability of high temperature composites and will deliver a new sovereign manufacturing capability for high temperature oxide-oxide ceramic matrix composites.

The project build will comprise of a complete UAV airframe, including composite aeroshell and aerodynamic control surfaces, flight avionics, and hydrogen fuel system. Additive Manufacturing/ 3D Printing will be used additionally. The UAV will undergo hardware-in-the-loop bench as part of flight readiness testing. It will be a world first in delivering a reusable hypersonic UAV, says DISER

Q-CTRL will integrate quantum technology into space manufacturing for defence and agriculture, working with partners MOG Laboratories and the Australian national University (ANU). This project addresses critical industry-identified challenges in the space sector by focussing on building novel technology for geospatial intelligence enabled through advances in domestic precision manufacturing.

“We will combine unique technological capabilities in miniaturised lasers and small quantum sensors to produce unique remote sensing payloads for space deployment,” the partners say. “These will in turn provide sovereign capabilities relevant to defence and space. By focusing on underground water detection as a key application, we will deliver major value to Australian agriculture and align with Science & Research priorities in Advanced Manufacturing and Soil and Water.”

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