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Industry, Innovation and Science providing support for defence SMEs

Team Defence Australia exhibit at Eurosatory 2018 (Image Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science)

As the government commits to $200 billion over the decade and beyond to modernise the nation’s defence capability, Australias defence industry, ranging from small and medium suppliers to large, locally-based subsidiaries of multinational primes, will see the benefit. To support this, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science are providing a range of assistance resources for Australian industry. 

The government's Defence Industry Capability Plan sets out a comprehensive blueprint for developing Australia’s defence industry. With $200 billion worth of investment in our capability over the next decade, the government acknowledges that as Australia builds its defence capability, the nation must also grow its defence industrial capability. The government identifies that Australia will require a larger, more capable and prepared Australian defence industry that has the requisite skills, expertise, technology, intellectual property and infrastructure to:

  • Enable the conduct of ADF operations today; 
  • Support the acquisition, operation and sustainment of future defence capability; and
  • Provide the national support base for Defence to meet current needs and to surge if Australia’s strategic circumstances require it.

To support the Defence Industry Capability Plan, the government, through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the CDIC, provides a number of resources to help Australia's defence industry develop, including: 

  • Business advice and facilitation – The CDIC can provide advice over the phone or on-site. Based on the capability of your business, this advice may include:
    • Guidance on the defence market and working in the defence sector;
    • Identifying supply chain opportunities and what it takes to win work;
    • Potential opportunities for broader engagement with the defence sector;
    • Exporting and international supply chain opportunities; and
    • How the CDIC and other government agencies can assist your business.
  • Capability Improvement GrantsA Capability Improvement Grant of between $5,000 and $250,000 per SME will reimburse you for up to half the cost of engaging a consultant or expert to implement the eligible recommendations as part of an advisory or facilitation service. Eligible recommendations include: 
    • Business strategies, commercialisation and supply chain management;
    • HR strategies, workforce planning and training;
    • Quality assurance and risk management;
    • Production and operational improvements;
    • Marketing, branding and communication;
    • Financial management systems; and
    • Exploring new markets and market intelligence.
  • Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority GrantsThe Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants aim to ensure Australian businesses have the capacity and resilience to support Defence’s most critical capabilities by providing grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million.
  • Defence Global Competitiveness Grants - These grants will be available from the second half of 2018, the Defence Export Strategy included an additional $4.1 million per annum from 2018-19 for grants to help build the capability of businesses to compete internationally.

Beyond the grants program, the CDIC and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science provide support through innovation support services, including the Next Generation Technologies Fund, Defence Innovation Hub and support for international exports:

  • Next Generation Technologies FundThe NGTF, managed by Defence Science and Technology Group, has an investment of $730 million to 2026. The NGTF is a forward-looking program focusing on research in emerging and future technologies for the "future Defence Force after next". 
  • Defence Innovation Hub - Will invest around $640 million over the decade to 2025-26 in maturing and further developing technologies that have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development stages of the innovation process. The Defence Innovation Hub seeks proposals aligned with the following six capability streams:
    • Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, space and cyber;
    • Key enablers;
    • Land combat and amphibious warfare;
    • Air and sea lift;
    • Maritime and anti-submarine warfare; and
    • Strike and air combat.
  • International support and exportsThe Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) works in partnership with the Australian Defence Export Office to assist defence businesses thinking about exporting, looking to expand their export markets or seeking access to global supply chains. The type of CDIC assistance will vary depending on individual business requirements, but may include:
    • Export readiness assessments and supply chain improvement advice;
    • Entry point to tradeshows and missions to key markets overseas with Team Defence Australia;
    • Facilitated access to the defence multinational primes and Defence’s Global Supply Chain Program; and
    • Market research and advice, and testing the market, before committing to export activities.

More information about the government's Defence Industry Capability Plan, and the CDIC and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's support and grants program for domestic defence industry contributors, can be found here

Industry, Innovation and Science providing support for defence SMEs
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