Research and Development

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Great minds think Victoria

Victoria brings together the world’s best and brightest minds in defence research and development (R&D). With so many facilities in one state, Victoria is the nation’s hub for innovation and specialist defence knowledge.

In 2019, the Intelligent Community Forum ranked Melbourne as the third most innovative city in the world. In February of 2023, the Intelligent Community Forum named Greater Geelong a Smart21 Community of 2023.

Victoria’s globally renowned research institutes and organisations are supported by a world-class tertiary education sector.

Victoria produces more graduates than any other Australian state in:

  • information technology
  • engineering and related technologies.

Victoria is a national leader in defence R&D

Victorian universities contribute 40 per cent – around $61 million – of Australia’s annual university defence research and development spend, more than any other state.

Victoria’s educational institutions have world-class defence research capabilities, including:

  • Deakin University
  • La Trobe University
  • Monash University
  • RMIT University
  • Swinburne University
  • University of Melbourne.

Deakin University is the first tertiary institution in Australia to host Zone 4 classified, secret-rated defence research.

For further information on defence-relevant research across Victoria's university sector, see the Defence Science Institute's 2023 Victorian & Tasmanian Defence Research Capability Directory.

Industry leaders in defence R&D

Lockheed Martin established its $13 million advanced multi-disciplinary R&D centre – the Science Technology Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory or STELaRLab – in Melbourne in 2016.

It is the first such facility of its kind outside of the United States and Melbourne’s strong international reputation for R&D was a key factor in Lockheed Martin’s decision.

Find out more about Lockheed Martin Australia.

BAE Systems Australia’s Red Ochre Labs is headquartered in Victoria. The lab develops world-leading disruptive technologies in:

  • autonomous systems
  • hypersonics
  • high-frequency systems
  • electronic warfare
  • anti-submarine warfare capabilities through the Hunter Class Frigate program.

Find out more about BAE Systems Australia.

Elbit Systems Australia operates a Human and Machine Teaming Centre of Excellence in Victoria. This is the only such facility outside of Israel.

Find out more about Elbit Systems of Australia.

Victorian company SYPAQ Systems established its Defence Autonomy Centre of Excellence in Melbourne. The facility develops innovative technologies related to autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

Find out more about SYPAQ Systems.

The Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) is the second largest publicly funded R&D organisation in Australia. Its aerospace, maritime and land divisions are based in Melbourne.

The DSTG has strong capabilities in:

  • electronics
  • systems engineering
  • platform information systems
  • autonomous systems
  • other digital & electronic technology.

Find out more about the Defence Science and Technology Group.

The Defence Science Institute (DSI) is funded to develop Victoria's defence science and technology capabilities. This is through the facilitation of defence science-focused collaboration between:

  • universities
  • other research organisations
  • industry.

Find out more about the Defence Science Institute

DMTC Limited (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre) was established in 2008 under the Commonwealth Government’s Defence Future Capability Technology Centre Program. It is engaged in the development and supply of:

  • new materials technologies
  • electronic systems
  • advanced components
  • manufacturing processes.

Find out more about DMTC Ltd.

The Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct (AMMP) is a hub for industry and research organisations. Based in south-east Melbourne, it is home to 40 per cent of Victoria’s manufacturing companies plus:

  • Monash University
  • Australian Synchrotron.

Find out more about the Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct (AMMP)

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong (AFCG) is a group of companies and organisations centred around Deakin University and the Geelong region supporting the growth of advanced fibre and composite capabilities.

Quickstep, a leader in composite component manufacturing, has established its global R&D Centre of Excellence in Geelong.

Find out more about the Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong (AFCG)

Chemical, biological and radiological defence is developed in Victoria, with R&D and countermeasure capabilities.

Melbourne is one of only three international cities with two universities in the global top 20 biomedicine rankings.

More than 40 per cent of ASX-listed biotech and medical equipment companies are in Victoria.

Swedish defence firm Saab relocated its global Deployable Health Care Centre of Excellence from Sweden to Melbourne.

Page last updated 19 Apr 2023
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