Speaking to Defence Connect, First Assistant Secretary Louis – whose remit ranges from implementing the government’s approach to defence industry policy and creating a strategy-led program of industry engagement and innovation to managing export controls – outlined how the hot topic of sovereign capability is rapidly emerging as a core plank of Defence’s forward looking strategy.
“I think there's a recognition of Australian industry as a strategic asset,” noted First Assistant Secretary Louis. “[It’s] a very important pillar of our resilience and part of our ADF posture.”
More specifically, she highlighted that current thinking focused on getting serious about identifying the sovereign capabilities required to be in place in-country, in order to support the ADF.
“[Those capabilities] we can't import from overseas, we can’t stockpile and [for which] we can't have other strategies,” she explained. “It's a really complex piece of work.”
First Assistant Secretary Louis said in terms of sovereign capability, the growing realisation within within her team’s brief, and Defence more broadly, centred on actually driving Australian industry stakeholders into the large, burgeoning procurement space.
“What we're trying to do is… make sure that the connections are made [and] to make sure through the CDIC and our innovation programs [that] we build on those,” she added.