Australia’s National Security Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC) within Defence coordinates whole-of-Government science and technology for national security. It strives to partner widely across the community in order to improve impact, encourage alignment and reduce duplication.

The NSSTC is seeking matured technology solutions from academia and industry to support its Safeguarding Australia Technology Challenges.

The NSSTC Safeguarding Australia Technology Challenges are a national-level opportunity coordinated in partnership with the Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN) in each state, including the Defence Innovation Partnership.

Challenge Statements

The NSSTC published six national security priorities (pdf) to inform the science and industry community of the areas where it seeks alignment, partnership and research activity. Within these existing priorities, the NSSTC is seeking solutions to three detailed challenges:

  1. Safe Vehicle Interdiction
    Single or multiple capabilities to allow law enforcement to render inoperable a moving vehicle, in a no-notice scenario whereby the vehicle must be stopped prior to reaching its intended destination (such as a civilian crowd). The capabilities must be applicable to motor vehicles and trucks of different sizes (light / medium / heavy rigid and heavy combination) and ages (with / without an Engine Control Unit) whilst minimising collateral damage to persons and infrastructure in close proximity of the targeted vehicle.
  2. Enhanced Crime Scene DNA Collection
    DNA collection device (such as a swab, tapelift or another device) which supports effective collection of biological material by on-site crime scene personnel, whilst enabling subsequent automated analysis in laboratory environment without further handling or sample preparation.
  3. Digital Forensic Tools
    Detection, access, extraction and exploitation of electronic devices with a focus on personal devices and the ‘Internet of Things’ and their assistance to solving community crime.

Further details on the challenges can be found in the Challenge Statement document, in the Publications section below.


The NSSTC Safeguarding Australia Technology Challenges are seeking solutions from academia and industry addressing three challenge statements.

Solutions must be at or above Technology Readiness Level 5 as defined by DSTG (external link).

Up to $200,000 (ex GST) per project is available to support a maximum of three projects of 18-24 months’ duration. While the expectation is that one project will be funded in each challenge area, this will be dependent on the quality and relevance of the submissions received.


Proposals are sought from Australian universities, businesses, research organisations and Publicly Funded Research Organisations (excluding DSTG).  Proposals which include an industry partner will be viewed favourably and weighted accordingly in the selection criteria.

How to Apply

Proposals are to be submitted via the SmartyGrants online form link (external link) by 9:00pm ASWT / 11:00pm AEST / 11:30pm ACDT / 12:00pm AEDT Monday 31st January 2022.

Please read the ‘Information for Applicants’ document available in the Publications section at the bottom of this page to understand the information you will be required to provide in your application.

Information Sessions

A virtual information briefing will be held to discuss each Challenge Statement. To register, click on the associated link below.

Challenge Date Registration
Safe Vehicle Interdiction Date: Thursday 16 December 2021

Time: 11:00am AWST / 1:00pm AEST / 1:30pm ACDT / 2:00pm AEDT

NSSTC Technology Challenges Info Session: Safe Vehicle Interdiction Tickets, Thu 16/12/2021 at 1:00 pm | Eventbrite
Enhanced Crime Scene DNA Collection Date: Thursday 16 December 2021

Time: 12:30pm AWST / 2:30pm AEST / 3:00pm ACDT / 3:30pm AEDT
Digital Forensic Tools Date: Monday 13 December 2021

Time: 9:30am AWST / 11:30am AEST / 12:00pm ACDT / 12:30pm AEDT

NSSTC Technology Challenges Info Session: Digital Forensic Tools Tickets, Mon 13/12/2021 at 12:30 pm | Eventbrite

The virtual sessions will be conducted via Microsoft Teams. Registrations close 48 hours prior to each event.

A link will be sent to registered participants no later than 24 hours before each event.

Getting Help

Contact the relevant ADSUN member in your state:

State Australian Defence Science and Universities Network
WA Defence Science Centre (external link)
ACT, NSW Defence Innovation Network (external link)
NT, SA Defence Innovation Partnership
QLD Queensland Defence Science Alliance (external link)
VIC, TAS Defence Science Institute (external link)



Information for Applicants (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

Budget, personnel and milestones & deliverables spreadsheet (xlsx)