Print version


Further Information

About DSTO

DSTO: Science and Technology for a Secure World

DSTO: Science and Technology for a Secure World
DSTO: Science and Technology for a Secure World

Mission: The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is the Australian government's lead agency charged with applying science and technology to protect and defend Australia and its national interests. DSTO delivers expert, impartial advice and innovative solutions for Defence and other elements of national security.

Vision: To be a world leader in defence science and technology – indispensable in transforming the Australian Defence Force and Australia’s national security.

Role: To achieve its mission and vision, DSTO:

  • Seeds and shapes the perceptions and priorities of Defence for the use of science and technology
  • Provides scientific and technical support to current Defence operations
  • Investigates future technologies for Defence and national security applications
  • Ensures Australia is a smart buyer and user of Defence equipment
  • Develops new Defence and national security capabilities
  • Enhances existing capabilities by increasing performance and safety, and reducing the cost of ownership of Defence assets.
  • Works collaboratively with other science and government agencies to strengthen national security
  • Assists industry to become better at supporting Defence's capability needs.


  • Excellence in Science – we strive to lead, and be proud of, all our scientific undertakings
  • People – we develop and support each other to achieve organisational deliverables
  • Professionalism – we strive for excellence in everything we do
  • Loyalty – we are committed to each other, our leaders and the organisation
  • Integrity – we are trustworthy and honourable in all our interactions
  • Courage – we act with strength of character, both in the courage of our convictions and in our intellectual courage
  • Innovation – we actively and consistently look for better ways of doing business
  • Teamwork – we work together with trust, respect and a sense of collective purpose  

Headed by the Chief Defence Scientist, DSTO has an annual budget of approximately $440 million and employs around 2,600 staff, predominantly scientists, engineers, IT specialists and technicians.

DSTO has a presence in nearly every state and territory in Australia. It has its national headquarters in Canberra with research facilities in Melbourne, Edinburgh (near Adelaide), Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, HMAS Stirling at Rockingham (near Perth), Scottsdale in Tasmania, and Innisfail in northern Queensland.

At all times, DSTO works closely with the industry, science and technology community to enhance its ability to support Australia's defence and national security capabilities and to contribute to national wealth.