West Australian Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia has officially launched a series of state government grants to support collaborative research that will help strengthen WA’s defence industry as the economy grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Defence Science Centre grants range from $50,000 to $150,000 and are a key component of the WA government’s Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan to grow the local defence industry and create jobs.
Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia said, “The Collaborative Research Grants are a central pillar of the McGowan government’s strategy to grow the state’s defence industry and create jobs. I am pleased to be able to launch the second round of the grants at this time to support the defence, university and innovation sectors.”
The funding is available for collaborations with universities, industry and government to undertake research on technologies and innovations that are relevant to the defence industry.
“As well as boosting innovation and helping bring emerging technologies to market the grants cultivate a long-term focus on innovation and foster ongoing collaboration between universities and industry,” he added.
Projects must be linked to the Department of Defence's technology-themed Next Generation Technologies Fund priorities, maritime maintenance or – for the first time this year – to reduce the cost of on-the-job training.
“These grants are one of the ways the Defence Science Centre is delivering on its mission to connect universities and researchers with industry and Defence to build a stronger Western Australian economy,” Minister Papalia added.
Launched in 2018, the West Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan is the first time a state government has committed to an overarching vision and direction to ensure that Western Australia is able to fully contribute to the national and international defence industry.
The Strategic Plan includes six key strategies with action areas, including:
Supporting a strong and enduring defence presence;
Growing the state’s defence industry capability and contribution;
Developing strategic infrastructure;
Building research and innovation partnerships;
Advancing education, training and skilling; and
Supporting veterans and families.
The WA government is committed to the delivery of the Strategic Plan. Immediate focus will be given to enhancing the capability and experience of the public sector, including Defence West, to deliver the requirements of this Strategic Plan and build robust engagement and consultation with industry.
The WA government aims to ensure that sovereign interest and support for the Australian Defence Force remains a priority as improved support, enhanced collaboration and increased exports for WA industry and universities are pursued.