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Advanced Acoustic Materials Research Proposal

Multidisciplinary materials is a priority theme of the Next Generation Technologies Fund, aimed at realising unprecedented and potentially game-changing capabilities enabled by developments in advanced materials.

To this end Defence is proactively seeking to drive technological advances in acoustic materials, which will lead to an increase in platform survivability and operational effectiveness through a reduction in platform signatures.

 The development of novel acoustic materials seeks to leverage acoustic science, materials science & engineering, technology and innovation across Australia to develop new technology solutions of relevance to Defence. The goal of this proposal is to inform Defence of the potential benefits and practical limitations of advanced acoustic materials through studies and delivery of prototype materials.

 Prototype materials should demonstrate capabilities that are either unique to acoustic materials, or which are significantly superior to conventional materials. Furthermore, materials need to be feasible and have realistic maturation pathways.

How you can be involved in the Advanced Acoustic Materials Research Proposal

We are seeking proposals from industry, academia, and government research agencies to contribute to research which has the potential to result in the development of Defence-relevant advanced acoustic materials.

Proposals should address either or both of the following priority areas:

1. Design of advanced acoustic materials from first principles, using Multiscale Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) techniques

2. Experimental development of acoustic materials

1.      Multiscale Integrated Computational Materials Engineering of Acoustic Materials

The basic ingredients of a strategic approach towards advanced materials design using integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) techniques are:

  • Allowing for the use of existing and verified models to a maximum extent: extendable and modular;
  • Closing existing gaps in the present manifold of models by mapping the materials and the process chain, aiming at the provision of a comprehensive concept; 
  • Speeding up individual models by data reduction where applicable: adaptable; 
  • Speeding up individual models by efficient programming: efficient;
  • Enabling and speeding up information exchange between different models; standardized;
  • Integrating different process scales (length, time): comprehensive and adaptable; 
  • Being useful for different types of materials and processes: generic and/or adaptable; 
  • Model refinement or model reduction where necessary and/or beneficial: extendable and modular; 
  • Facilitating the creation of simulation chains by drawing on prior knowledge: self-learning and knowledge integrative; 
  • Software development and/or combination of available software tools to accommodate ICME simulation chain.

2. Experimental Development of Advanced Acoustic Materials

Development of prototype acoustic metamaterials should address:

  • Choice and availability of materials;
  • Micro/macrostructures and composite layout;
  • Material development process(s);
  • Material test and characterisation and data analysis;
  • Material and process optimization;
  • Pathways for scale-up from a prototype to industry manufacture.

Proposals are sought for up to 2 years and 6 months in duration. The proposals should consider a work program that will be split into two phases. Successful proposals will be funded for “Phase 1” (six months) and then re-assessed by Defence stakeholders and subject matter experts prior to any commencement and funding of “Phase 2” (2 years) activities. Outcomes will be tied to agreed deliverables and subject to ongoing review. Proposals should include a description of the context of the research within the broader acoustic materials landscape, and should outline proposed areas of Defence application.

Proposals are expected to receive funding of up to $150,000 per year.

Proposals should include an in-kind contribution from the participant(s) and detail any proposed co-funding.

Proposals should also detail proposed collaborative partnerships involving DST. To the extent that it can be practically achieved, DST seeks to be an active and valued partner in all research projects supported by the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

Selection Process

Proposals submitted will be assessed on:

  • The potential for breakthrough Defence capability or disruptive innovation;
  • The contribution the proposal will make to enhancing Australia’s Defence acoustic materials capability;
  • The suitability of the proposed research in addressing the priority areas;
  • The strength of partnering to deliver Defence outcomes;
  • The feasibility of the proposed research pathway and timeline to deliver Defence outcomes on-time and on-budget; and
  • The outlined risk assessment and midterm and final check points for the proposed research.

Conditions of Award

  • This opportunity is open to all registered Australian businesses, Australian Universities, and Australian Publicly Funded Research Agencies.
  • Universities must be party to a Defence Science Partnering (DSP) deed.
  • Successful applicants will enter into the appropriate (attached below) contracting arrangement within 3 weeks of announcement.


Successful applicants will be required to enter into an arrangement using one of the following contracting templates. Defence will enter into contracts with the lead party in each proposal. There will be no opportunity as part of this activity to negotiate multiparty arrangements. Any additional parties are required to be listed as subcontractors in the agreements.

  • Universities must be party to the Defence Science Partnering (DSP) deed.
  • Industry participants will be engaged under the Next Generation Technologies Fund Research Contract.
  • Any IP generated as part of this trial will vest in the lead partner on each project. Defence requires a license for Commonwealth purposes only.

Any Commonwealth funding contributed to the projects will be paid in accordance with successful completion of milestones and as negotiated by the parties. Where circumstances necessitate, it is possible for a small payment to be made upon execution of the agreement, in accordance with Defence procurement rules.

Key information

Further information

Applications are now closed.