Defence has launched a new industry support program, looking to recruit small businesses to “join the fight against cyber threats”.
Under the Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA), Australian small businesses will receive funding to develop "ambitious, game-changing" capabilities for the ADF.
Support of up to $300,000 per proposal will be provided for projects for up to 18 months.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said ICERA is being funded through Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, in a new scheme that will provide $36 million over six years.
“Australia’s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes,” said Minister Price.
“This change is something which has been clearly highlighted in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update that was released recently.
“Our small business sector has a more important role than ever in contributing to Defence’s science and technology research priorities that support ADF capability needs.
“Which is why I welcome that the first focus of the ICERA initiative is targeting on cyber defence and cyber security."
Later rounds of ICERA are expected to focus on a range of other priority areas, including integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, medical countermeasures, space, and trusted autonomous systems.
Defence adds that successful projects may be considered for further funding or opportunities through other avenues and mechanisms.