Mollusc glue and magnetic nanoparticles – joint research challenge delivers promising innovations
A number of promising innovations have emerged from a joint Australian-UK initiative to develop new ways to join and integrate novel materials onto military platforms, including an adhesive inspired by marine molluscs and a reversible, on-demand bonding technology using magnetic nanoparticles.
The ‘A Joint Effort’ competition, coordinated by Australia’s Department of Defence and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), challenged researchers from Australia and the UK to come up with new and innovative ways to join and integrate novel materials onto military platforms. Both nations used the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and Australia’s Small Business Innovation Research for Defence programs as a common assessment framework for the competition.
The challenge was specifically seeking enhanced joining solutions that could potentially deliver one or more of three specified benefits: improved performance through use of new material combinations or structural designs; improved durability of structures through better joints; or improved ability to maintain joints through the life of the military platform.
After four years of collaborative effort, some of the results of the competition were recently showcased in the UK to an audience of UK-based technology integrators and Defence personnel.
Chief Technology Officer, Innovation and Strategic Research from Australia’s Department of Defence, Professor Michelle Gee said that the ‘Joint Effort’ competition had delivered some “truly outstanding results which could prove to be transformative in terms of Defence capability”.
“The Joint Effort initiative really demonstrates what can be achieved when we collaborate with our allies to address shared challenges,” she said.
“That collaboration has resulted in us achieving better, solutions faster.”
Australia’s involvement in the initiative was funded through Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, a fund designed to support the development of new and emerging technologies to address Australia’s military capability requirements.
Find out more about the Joint Effort and some of the innovations that came out of it on the GOV.UK website.