Technology foresight for Defence

One of DSTO’s strategic imperatives is to contribute to the future shape of Defence, guide investment in our science and technology areas and implement a program to focus our partnerships on the big science and technology challenges facing defence and national security. The DSI continues to work closely with the Technology Forecasting and Futures Group within DSTO. The aim of this collaboration is to identify and fund programs of work that future-proof the Australian Defence Force and National Security agencies against technology surprise whilst maintaining a technology advantage. To this end, DSI has co-sponsored a workshop, three university collaborations and two PhD students in support of this strategic initiative.

Regina Crameri, senior research scientists at DSTO, says:

“The DSI workshop on strategic risk was critical in establishing links with researchers with the capability to model risk in the defence environment.”

Currently, Dr Ann Nicholson from Monash University is working with Dr Ross Ashman (Joint and Operations Analysis Division, DSTO) to develop Bayesian networks for assessing the risk of implementing future technologies and how this may effect technology development and prioritisation in the defence environment.

Dr Lisa Wise (Swinburne University) is leading a team of researchers in collaboration with Dr Michael Skinner (Aerospace Division, DSTO) and Dr Regina Crameri (Joint and Operations Analysis Division, DSTO), to determine how and to what level, a human will be able to interact with the new machine platforms as they develop out to the year 2050. In particular, this work is looking at the human–machine interface and the selection and training of ADF personnel for future warfare.

Finally, Professor Tim McCormack and Dr Rain Liivoja (University of Melbourne) in collaboration with Dr Scott Wheeler and Dr Regina Crameri (Joint and Operations Analysis Division, DSTO) are undertaking a study to determine the legal and ethical implications of emerging technologies and the implication that the relevant national and international laws will have on future warfare.