Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced $12.4 million worth of grants for small businesses that contribute to the development of Australia’s defence industry capability.
Minister Price said the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants were awarded to small businesses developing or supporting capabilities critical to Defence.
The Defence Industrial Capability Plan introduces the new Sovereign Industrial Capability Assessment Framework to provide a repeatable methodology to identify Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.
In approaching development of the priorities, we focused on a definition of sovereign industrial capability around access to, or control over, the essential skills, technology, intellectual property, financial resources and infrastructure within our defence industrial base as required.
The initial Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are the result of a rigorous assessment framework that looked at the strategic, capability, and resources dimensions of industrial sovereignty – and made judgements based on Defence needs. The government’s priority is to provide the Australian Defence Force with cost-effective, cutting-edge capability while also maximising Australian industry involvement.
Minister Price said, "By prioritising 10 key capabilities and supporting Australian small businesses who are contributing to them, we’re developing a strong, sovereign industrial base."
Grant recipients include manufacturing companies supporting land combat vehicles, businesses undertaking research and development on cutting-edge technologies and local businesses delivering the government’s naval shipbuilding plan.
"I’m focused on growing the number of small businesses in our defence industry, and providing practical support to companies looking to work with Defence,” Minister Price said.
The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants launched on 21 November 2018 will provide funding to industry to ensure that Australian SMEs have the appropriate capacity and resilience to support Defence's most critical capabilities.
The intended outcome of the grants is to grow a robust and resilient Australian SME industrial base capable of providing a significant contribution to the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities announced in the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.
Priorities are described at the capability level with a focus on technologies rather than companies or products. This approach will encourage innovation and new developments across the Integrated Investment Program capability streams and individual projects.
Effective implementation of the priorities requires them to be embedded early into strategic planning and Defence capability planning processes and across the capability life cycle. This will be a core task of Defence Industry Policy Division.
The grants program includes a number of features, namely:
- Grants of up to $1 million will be available to buy, construct, install or fund capital equipment, including specialist software and security infrastructure, and any design, non-recurring engineering costs, workforce training and accreditation directly related to the project;
- A cap of $3 million on total funding applies for a business over a three-year period and 50:50 matched funding is required; and
- This is a four-year grants program; available from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
Minister Price added, "These grants are another way the Morrison government is driving economic growth and creating new jobs through our defence industry investment."
The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities will be managed, supported and considered throughout the capability life cycle and will start at the very beginning of defence planning through to disposal.
The next round of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants program closes on 1 October 2019. Applications can be submitted through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability website here.