Defence Research for What?
Listen to the first, officially ‘UNCLASSIFIED’, episode of Research for What? .
A few weeks ago, I launched ‘Research for What?’ to discuss why we do research. This week’s episode is special as I learn about defence research and innovation with Dr David Kershaw, Chief Science Engagement and Impact Division, Defence Science and Technology (DST), an agency of the Australian Department of Defence.
I asked naive questions to David who spoke very openly about defence research, its role and impact. David talks about the unique structure and objectives to support the Australian Defence Force and guard Australia’s security needs. Unlike for academic research, the goals of defence research are not to publish papers or to competitively expand our knowledge base. Nonetheless, defence research surprisingly shares many similarities with civilian research and innovation, collaboration and impact are also essential elements.
DST recently launched ‘More, together: the Science and Technology 2030 Strategy for Defence’. DST works closely with Australian government agencies such as CSIRO and ANSTO, and is looking to establish new partnerships with civilian researchers, including in academia. The appointment of Professor Tanya Monroe, previously Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, as Chief Defence Scientist in 2019, further demonstrates the overlap and bridges between defence and academic research. David explains how and why collaborations between defence, academia and industry can create win-wins for everyone involved, benefits for Australia and impact globally.
Learning about all aspects of research and researchers is exactly the goal of ‘Research for What?’ – this episode shows an unfamiliar, yet extremely important and impactful, side of research.
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