The University of Adelaide and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) have signed a new strategic alliance agreement, providing more funding and career opportunities for the university and its students.
The new alliance will introduce initiatives for research at the university, one of which is a new raft of scholarships for students doing an honours year in a defence-related field. Currently 10 scholarships at AU$500 are planned, but DSTO business development manager Jim Mitkas told ZDNet Australia that the award amount could change in the future.
In addition to these new scholarships, the DSTO will provide funding to launch a new centre of expertise, as well as sponsoring several PHD and professorial placements.
The collaboration between the university and the DSTO goes back a "lot longer" than formal alliances, according to Mitkas, with the DSTO first becoming involved in the university in 1967. He added that the strong relationship stemmed from the location of DSTO's largest research centre, in Edinburgh, Adelaide.
The two organisations often exchange minds, with DSTO researchers coming to work at the university for 12 months and vice versa. "We're looking at potential recruits for staff," Mitkas said.
This gives students "the opportunity to see whether they do want a career in defence", Mitkas said, and whether they would be happier at the DSTO or a defence contractor such as BAE Aerospace.
The University of Adelaide will not be the only one to benefit according to Mitkas. "We are going to be doing alliances with other universities in the future," he told ZDNet Australia, although he could not say which ones, commenting only that it was more likely that the DSTO would form an alliance with universities with which it already had a relationship.