With the new funding, DMTC will continue to work closely with Defence Industries Queensland to assist manufacturers to maximise opportunities to enter defence industry supply chains.
The DMTC Industry Capability Development program aims to create a network of 'Defence-ready' companies across the country with benchmarked, globally competitive capabilities.
DMTC says the program is a natural fit with its strong focus on engaging small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in its research and development activities.
The multi-phase DMTC program involves process benchmarking and technology transfer activities. It also provides mentoring and evidence-based feedback on what SMEs need to do to lift themselves up the skills curve.
Dr Mark Hodge, DMTC chief executive, reinforced the benefits of the multi-phase development program, particularly in helping SMEs to be Defence-ready.
"Australian small to medium enterprises can use this program to demonstrate their skills and their capacity to play key roles within the supply chains of some of the defence primes," Dr Hodge said.
"Industry partners in our early programs have reported improvements including a greater understanding of the latest welding techniques and processes, accreditations and global performance benchmarks, and positioning the companies for future growth."
The DMTC team leading the workshops involves research partners from Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Wollongong, with assistance from the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) and relevant certification partners, including the Welding Technology Institute of Australia.
Building on previous capacity-building successes in areas such as CNC machining and additive manufacturing, DMTC’s current program seeks to enhance Australian industry's capabilities in welding of specific grades of steel required for maritime and land applications.
Following a successful pilot in the Mackay region in 2017, the additional workshops funded in Queensland will target companies in Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane and Rockhampton.
One of the companies involved in the Mackay pilot, DGH Engineering, has since been identified by Rheinmetall as a key supply chain partner in its LAND 400 program.
DGH managing director Dave Hackett said the DMTC program had been beneficial in mapping the company’s existing capabilities against the exacting standards of the defence sector.
"It’s always a challenge to benchmark your business from one sector to another. By demonstrating that we can meet Defence’s requirements, it positions our company for both current work and other opportunities in the future," Hackett said.