This paper overviews some recent S&T innovations in smart materials and structures at the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) under a Corporate Enabling Research Program (CERP) on Signatures, Materials and Energy. The CERP program includes development and transitioning of technology across the maritime, air and land domains, with the major focus of the smart materials program component being to increase the safety, availability and maintainability of Defence assets. Three specific examples are provided of the smart materials and structures program, ranging across the spectrum of technology readiness from new concept phase to technology transitioning, viz.: (i) Advances in smart sensing for prognostics-based platform management; (ii) Fabrication of nanostructured and ultrafine grained materials through top-down severe plastic deformation processing of bulk materials; (iii) Innovative application of carbon nanotubes/conducting polymers as artificial muscles for low-power propulsion and control of small autonomous underwater systems. In each case, the DSTO effort is underpinned by strong university or industry linkages to deliver challenging interdisciplinary S&T.