The Defence Science Institute (DSI) was established in 2010 within the University of Melbourne. DSI is an unincorporated joint venture between the University of Melbourne, DST Group, and any other entity that is accepted as a DSI Participant.  Other Participants are primarily universities but can be a government department, a research organisation, a company or an individual that subscribes to the aims of the DSI and is approved by the DSI Executive on behalf of the University of Melbourne and DST Group.

DSI itself does not undertake any research, instead it facilitates university-government-industry research and skills exchange via actively cultivating relationships and linkages.  One of DSI’s key roles is to act as a match-maker between universities, government and industry.   DSI’s grant programs are an important tool in supporting this facilitation.