Why should Australia have an organisation like the US DARPA?


A new research and development agency to be established within Defence will fund pivotal research in breakthrough technologies for national security – the Australian Strategic Research Agency (ASRA). Shoal’s Graeme Dunk and James Kruger have been advocating for an Australian DARPA for some time.

“Establishing an Australian Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an essential step to progress the critical link between Defence and defence industry, in turn fostering world-class technology for Australia’s warfighters.” said Shoal’s Graeme Dunk and James Kruger.

“We envisaged this Australian version of DARPA filling the ‘valley of death’ between lab testing and demonstration of a prototype (that is, between technology readiness levels 4 and 7). It would utilise private as well as public funding, and it would provide a sovereign approach to development,” the pair argue.

This would create better technological outcomes for Australia’s warfighters by creating an agency that would have a less risk averse profile and the innovative bounds required to build a world-leading defence force.

Read the 3 articles in a series, published in Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Strategist throughout 2021: