NSSTC Safeguarding Australia Technology Challenges

NSSTC Safeguarding Australia Technology Challenges

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 QDSA.

Challenge Statements

The NSSTC published six national security priorities 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 Publically 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 online form link by 11:00pm AEST Sunday 13th February 2022.

Information Sessions

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

Safe Vehicle InterdictionDate: Thursday 16 December 2021
Time: 1:00pm AEST
Register Here
Enhanced Crime Scene DNA CollectionDate: Thursday 16 December 2021
Time: 2:30pm AEST
Register Here
Digital Forensic ToolsDate: Monday 13 December 2021
Time: 11:30am AEST
Register Here

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

StateAustralian Defence Science and Universities Network
WADefence Science Centre
ACT, NSWDefence Innovation Network
NT, SADefence Innovation Partnership
QLDQueensland Defence Science Alliance
VIC, TASDefence Science Institute


Information for Applicants

Frequently Asked Questions