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The Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making Initiative (the Initiative) is now accepting applications.

The Initiative is a collaborative project between the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) expertise and capability in areas of significant importance to the Australian defence and national security community.

Individuals are invited to apply their skill and expertise to solve one of 23 AI and ML research and development related challenges.

Successful applicants will be provided with three-month funding of up to $20,000 per project and could also have the opportunity to be part of a national network focused on developing AI and ML technology. There is also the opportunity for project prototypes to be considered for progression through the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), or defence and university sectors. 

The Initiative is being delivered on a national basis through the Defence Science Centre, Defence Science Institute, Defence Innovation Network and Defence Innovation Partnership.

The Challenge topics are:

  1. Facial Recognition Bias Profiling
  2. Facial Verification Explainability Measures
  3. Deceitful/Persuasive Writing Detection
  4. Distribution-Aware Generalisation for Imbalanced Learning
  5. Human Factors in Explainable AI
  6. Input Feature Obfuscation
  7. Low-bias Age Prediction
  8. Ensembling Single-Class Classifiers
  9. Scoping the shopping Race
  10. Understanding the Limits and Biases of AI using Connect-4
  11.  Regret based strategies in a search market
  12. Newcombe’s Dilemma
  13. Holiday planning by AI
  14. Document Corpus Analysis
  15. Dynamic decision-making AI for penetration testing
  16. Graph-based analysis of network traffic for cyber applications
  17. Machine learned models from simulation data
  18. Using Machine Learning for Game and Player Analytics
  19. Uncertainty and Deception in Multi-agent OpenAI Gym Environments
  20. Automated glossary generation for effective and efficient information extraction from text data
  21. Classification of subtle activities
  22. RTS Game Disruptor
  23. Deep Reasoning Reinforcement Learning for Cognitive Information Warfare

Project Requirements

Funded projects will demonstrate prototype solutions, in the form of a software tool or related product that demonstrates the solution(s) to the chosen Challenge.

Applicants must also provide project reports that detail the approach to the Challenge and an overview of the solution, to enable assessment of project performance.

The maximum funding amount is $20,000 per project.

The length of projects must be three months.

The intent of the Initiative is to fund individuals to undertake separate projects, however small team-based proposals may be considered, subject to available funding. Funding for a team-based proposal is restricted to the same arrangements for an individual.

Individuals may submit applications to as many Challenges as they wish, however only one project will be funded per applicant, and each project must be discrete and stand alone from others.

A licence to use the intellectual property developed as part of project must be provided to the grant sponsor via IP Licence Deed.  This licence will be for Commonwealth Use purposes only.

Applications will be assessed by a Panel.

Conditions of Funding

The Initiative is only open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who reside in Australia. Proof of citizenship or permanent residency status must be provided if requested.

Funds can be used for direct costs associated with the project, including salary and salary on-costs.

Due to the small funding amount and desire to support capability the funds cannot be used for the recovery of indirect overheads.

Only personnel listed on the application can be involved in the project or supported by the funds.


Applications will be accepted from small teams or individuals who meet eligibility requirements.

The Initiative is open to Australian citizens or permanent residents who reside in Australia who are:

  • Currently employed by an Australian-based company, university or research organisation; or
  • Currently self or unemployed; or
  • Currently enrolled at an Australian university in an undergraduate or post-graduate degree.

Currently employed or enrolled applicants should apply via their institution, while those who are self or unemployed should apply as individuals.

There may be a requirement for identification, police and other background checks prior to the commencement of the project.

Project Outcomes and Deliverables

The aim of the Initiative is to fund short pilots to identify and propose novel, prototype and nascent solutions and approaches to the designated Challenges.

Specific deliverables will be discussed with successful applications.


The following criteria will be used to assess proposals:

  1. Relevance and alignment to the research problem – 40%
  2. Novelty, quality and feasibility of the approach -  40%
  3. Expertise in relevant technical field – 10%
  4. Absence of prior engagement with the national security, defence and intelligence community – 10%

Intellectual Property

Ownership of intellectual property developed using the grant funds will be retained by the successful applicants.  All successful applicants will be required to grant a licence to the Commonwealth to use project intellectual property for Commonwealth purposes via an IP Licence Deed.[hyperlink to deed]

Submitting your Application

Applications will only be accepted via the Initiative’s Application Form.

Contract arrangements

This program brings together funding sourced from multiple Commonwealth agencies and is administered on a state basis.  Recipients will be required to enter into an agreement with their local defence science facilitation network as listed below.  This means a variety of agreements will be used for successful applicants, dependent on their location, the original source of funds and the organisational nature of the applicant. Core principles and requirements are common across the agreements.

Applicant Location

Facilitation Network



Defence Science Institute (DSI)



Defence Innovation Network (DIN)


South Australia

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)


Western Australia

Defence Science Centre (DSC)

See DSC Sample Agreement at top of page.


Defence Science Institute (DSI)



Defence Innovation Network (DIN)


Northern Territory

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)



Defence Science Institute (DSI)


Opening and Closing Timeframes

The Initiative will have a continuous assessment process, with only outstanding applications funded. 

Applications will be accepted from 8 June 2020, closing 26 June 2020 or when funds are exhausted,whichever date comes sooner. It is recommended to apply early.

It is expected up to 100 projects could be funded.

Getting help

Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions at the top of the page.

If you require other assistance or guidance to complete the application form please email dsc@jtsi.wa.gov.au.  We will respond to your email within two working days.

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