The Australian Department of Defence will issue a call for proposals to set up a Defence Future Capability Technology Centre (DFCTC) next year to facilitate collaboration between publicly funded research organisations, universities and the defence industry.

Defence's chief scientist, Dr Roger Lough, said the DFCTC is one of the exciting innovations to come out of the defence industry policy released earlier this year.

Lough said the centre will utilise many of the characteristics of the broader Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) programme administered by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).

“While modelled on the successful CRC concept, the DFCTC will be targeted at developing a specific future defense capability,” he said.

“This exciting initiative is a partnership between Defence, Defence Materiel Organisation and DEST. As part of Defence's commitment to nurturing [SMEs], we want to ensure all Australian companies have the opportunity to participate in the DFCTC and are building this into the participation guidelines.”

The DFCTC will be administered by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.