First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy Division Kate Louis told Defence Connect that in terms of the business advisory service, the CDIC clearly targeted the small to medium enterprises.
“That’s the real engine room,” she noted. “[They’re] the businesses that would most likely seek support for capability improvement grants and so on.”
“Some of the feedback that we had [from] our policy statement was that we’re hard to get into,” she said, adding “we’re a big, complex organisation right across the nation.”
First Assistant Secretary Louis said that the CDIC provided a raft of business advisers nationwide.
“If you need industry support to grow your business or [you’re] wanting to look at a particular part of Defence business, [our] business advisers are there across the states and territories to support that,” she added.
“If you have an innovation proposal, importantly the innovation advisers within the CDIC can look at your proposals.”
First Assistant Secretary Louis said dedicated innovation advice included expert tips and suggestions for ways to improve SMEs’ plans and proposals.
“Or indeed [they can] refer [them] to the broader innovation system through the Department of Industry,” she said.
“Once you have submitted your innovation proposal, it does actually come through into the Innovation Hub, which importantly is run by Defence. It then goes out of the innovation advisory context of the CDIC into Defence to be assessed, and we’ve put a huge amount of effort into making that a very innovation-friendly environment.”
Other key focal points of the SME-centric CDIC innovation drive include the development of an intellectual property strategy, a whole-of-agency contracting suite and an innovation-focused governance and funding framework.