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D.Start Ignite

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Are you working on something with the potential to shape national security? Could your science or technology give our Defence Force an edge?

D.Start Ignite is an innovation and entrepreneurship program that empowers Australian researchers and small to medium enterprises to connect with Defence, identify a real-world application for their science or technology and attract the resources they need to translate it to capability – at pace.

Delivered under the Next Generation Technologies Fund, D.Start Ignite is looking for emerging and future technologies with the potential to provide game-changing capabilities for Australia's defence and national security.

Test. Validate. Engage.

Through expert guidance from your facilitation team, you will be better placed to understand and navigate the complex Defence and Defence Industry landscape.

Identify your ideal customer. Start the conversation and validate the problem you solve.

D.Start Ignite will open doors you never thought possible and fast-track your understanding of how to do business with Defence.

Leverage DSTG’s experience as Australia’s trusted, national defence science and research agency and start your journey today.

Proven Methodology. Powerful Network.

Purpose-built for big ideas with dual Defence and civilian application, D.Start Ignite is an eight-week hands-on learning experience.

Delivered remotely for teams of two to five members it is modelled on the highly successful national science and technology pre-accelerator program ‘ON Prime.’

Delivered by the Department of Defence in partnership with CSIRO, D.Start Ignite combines expert knowledge with powerful connections to help increase opportunity for successful translation. 

Who can apply?

The program is open to Australian businesses, research organisations and their teams working on science or technology for Defence application.

Teams can apply at any stage of their project and in any discipline. We are particularly interested in teams that have yet to explore Defence as a potential customer for their innovation or are keen to explore new pathways for commercialisation  

What we’re looking for

We are interested in technologies with the potential to address DSTG’s mission-directed STaR Shots (Science, Technology and Research Shots) and deliver game-changing capabilities for Australia's defence and national security.

  • Resilient Multi-mission space
  • Information Warfare
  • Agile Command and Control
  • Quantum assured position navigation and timing
  • Disruptive Weapon Effects
  • Operating in CBRN environments
  • Battle Ready Platforms
  • Remote Undersea Surveillance

We are particularly interested in technologies within the Next Generation Technologies Fund priority areas with potential to contribute to the STaR Shots. Teams working on technologies that address the following priority areas with the potential for dual-use applications in the commercial market are highly encouraged to apply.

  • Integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
  • Space capabilities
  • Enhanced human performance
  • Medical countermeasure products
  • Multidisciplinary material sciences
  • Quantum technologies
  • Trusted autonomous systems
  • Cyber
  • Advanced sensors
  • Hypersonics
  • Directed energy capabilities

The application process 

Applications for D.Start Ignite are submitted online in our application portal. An application takes approximately an hour to complete. 

All PFRA applications that are submitted are reviewed by their sponsoring institute to ensure that each team has the full support of their sponsoring institute to participate in the program.

Applications undergo a comprehensive online evaluation process by a panel of external Defence, science leaders, and commercial experts. Applications are judged per the eligibility criteria and are evaluated according to the description of the problem, end-users/customers, and solution.

Successful applicants are notified approximately two weeks after the application period has closed.

Apply now before 11:59pm (AEDT) Friday 21 January 2022.

View the D.Start Ignite 2021 Winter Cohort

View the D.Start 2020 Spring Cohort

What’s the commitment?

2 hours facilitated learning per week. 1 x 1-hour coaching session per week and dedicated time and permission to focus on your project for the full eight-week program.

D.Start Ignite is free to participate and all IP and equity remains the property of the participating team or their sponsoring business or institute.

During D.Start Ignite, your team will test paths for your IP, know-how or technology through a process of customer discovery and market validation to help build entrepreneurial and business model capabilities.

You’ll ensure you’re working on the right problems, targeting the right markets and capitalising on the best opportunities.

As the world becomes more complex and our battlespace evolves, there has never been a more critical time for Australia’s research and business community to rise to the challenge! 

If you are working on something with the potential to deliver real impact and a capability edge for Australia's Defence Force - it’s time to engage.

Got more questions?

NGTF acknowledgement

Key information

Applications are now closed.

Autumn 2022 Program Dates

12 April – 21 June 2022

Autumn Cohort 2022

Previous cohorts

Winter Cohort 2021

Spring Cohort 2020