New Grants

The Defence Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge is a unified Science and Technology (S&T) program by Australian Department of Defence to address the proliferation and variety of improvised threats. As part of the $730m  Next Generation Technologies Fund by Defence, the Minister for Defence Industry  has announced a $10m investment program inviting business and researchers to develop innovative solutions to defeat improvised threats.

Seeking stage 1 proposals now

This Defence Grand Challenge is seeking proposals from industry, academia and government research agencies to contribute to the development of the integrated improvised threat defeat system. Specifically, proposals should address:

  • improvised threat defeat concepts;
  • the development of sensor and neutralisation concepts and technologies; and/or
  • algorithms for signal processing, data fusion, automatic target recognition and determining response options.

Sensors should have high detection performance and specificity for improvised threats and response options should be tailored to defeat improvised threats in a controlled manner.

Funding available

Proposals are sought for funding for up to three years’ duration. Each project is expected to be funded in the range of $100,000 to $1,000,000 per year depending on scale, complexity and risk.

  • Proposals should include an in-kind contribution from the participant.
  • Collaboration with Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group is encouraged, but is not a prerequisite for applications.


The Defence Grand Challenge proposals will need to address either :

  1. Civilian Threat Scenario, i.e.  Drones, UAV, Mobile IED, Suicide Bomb
  2. Warfare Threat Scenario, i.e Emplaced IED, Remote Trigger, Radio Controlled IED, UAV

See attachment:  Scenarios-and-Threats_Counter-Improvised-Threats-Grand-Challenge


First stage Defence Grand Challenge application closing date is 26th May 2017

Selection Process

 A two-stage selection process is being employed for this initial call for applications. The timeline for this process is provided below.

Proposals submitted during the first stage will be selected against the following criteria:

  • the technological potential and alignment with the development of the improvised threat defeat system, and
  • the potential to offer game-changing capability.

The proposals which are down-selected after the first stage will be given the opportunity to submit a more detailed proposal and budget in the second stage selection process. It is expected that feedback will be given to the down-selected proposals, to aid in alignment with the aims of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge.

Successful second stage applicants will be announced in July and will work with Defence Science and Technology (DST) group to develop contracts/agreements starting early in FY 17/18.

DST will coordinate the successful project participants, who will need to work collaboratively to ensure delivery of the integrated improvised threat defeat system, such as integration of sub-systems into the open flexible system for sensor fusion and for software and hardware integration.

Further opportunities to be involved in this Grand Challenge will be announced in the future to address similar, or unmet, needs and to enable the development of the improvised threat defeat system, such as for systems integration.

Significant Dates and Times

Date Event
26/04/2017 Call for First Stage Applications: The invitation to submit against this call is limited to Australian universities, Australian and New Zealand industry and Australian Publicly Funded Research Agencies (PFRAs).
Information sessions: In-person information sessions will be held by the Grand Challenge program leads in the following locations after the release of the Call for Applications.

Canberra – 04 May 2017 10:00 am

Adelaide – 08 May 2017 10:00 am

Melbourne – 09 May 2017 10:00 am

Sydney – 09 May 2017 1:00 pm

Brisbane – 10 May 2017 10:00 am

Perth – 10 May 2017 10:00 am

Find further details and register for an event near you at:


26/05/2017 First stage application closing date


12/06/2017 Notification of first stage application outcomes: A detailed second stage proposal template will be provided to successful first stage applicants


07/07/2017 Second stage detailed proposal closing date


24/07/2017 Second stage detailed proposal application outcomes announced


25/07/2017 Contracting phase begins


Submit your Defence Grand Challenge application

All applications submitted through this format MUST BE UNCLASSIFIED.

If you need to include CLASSIFIED information as part of your submission, please contact the Grand Challenge team via email

Want to get the best possible result out of your Application?

We can help write your Defence Grant Application. Working with Treadstone means you get the maximum grant you are entitled to with minimum risk and effort. We provide expert advice in structuring your proposal,  presenting your capabilities and take care of your application, allowing you to continue to focus on your essential business operations. Treadstone are an experienced, outcome focused team with a proven Defence industry experience.

To ensure you have the best chance of getting grant funding contact us or call 03 9008 5937.

More information…..

The Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge seeks to harness science, technology and innovation capability across Australia to develop technology solutions that enable stand-off detection and neutralisation of improvised threats without casualties in a complex joint battlespace. Stand-off is required to reduce the risk to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and civilians.

Defence wants to work with the Australian innovation community (industry, academia and government research agencies) to create the ability to build prototype systems that detect and defeat a range of improvised threats while protecting Defence personnel and the civilian community. The goal of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge is to demonstrate integrated sets of detection and neutralisation systems within three years. As threats evolve over time it is expected that continuous innovation with potential solutions will be required.

  • Improvised Threats

Defence defines improvised threats as devices, systems and associated tactics, techniques and procedures, employed by adversarial elements in an innovative, unexpected or unconventional manner to deny the freedom of manoeuvre or force protection of a Joint Force, or achieve an asymmetric advantage against Australia’s national interests and the interests of its coalition partners.

The two scenarios provided are illustrations of the context for Defence.

  • The first concerns a Navy ship in a civilian port.
  • The second concerns Defence capability in a warzone.

Further details are included in the attachment.

  • Countering Improvised Threats

The aim of this unified S&T program is to develop technology solutions that enable stand-off detection and neutralisation of improvised threats without casualties in a complex joint battlespace.


The program will be successful if, within three years, it can develop and deliver open, modular, flexible systems that will detect and respond to a range of improvised threats with minimal risk to Defence personnel or civilians. The system should be able to detect improvised threats with high confidence and specificity and subsequently cue appropriate responses to an operator located beyond the effective range of the improvised threat.

A premise of the approach is that no single sensor will be able to unambiguously detect all improvised threats in all possible scenarios. It is expected that the research and development conducted in this Grand Challenge will lead to the creation of new sensors, in combination with the application and fusion of existing sensors, to form evolvable, integrated solutions which not only improve threat identification but also provide relevant response options resulting in technologies which safely neutralise those threats.

This strategy is designed to enable the rapid evolution of potential solutions through the integration of new detection and neutralisation technologies as new threats and different operating needs emerge.

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