The new $2 million program aims to help Victorian SMEs gain relevant accreditations, prepare tenders and meet industry specific compliance requirements, which is intended to ensure local defence supply chain companies are locally and internationally competitive and tender-ready.
In essence, the new program's funding will make SMEs "defence-ready" and, according to AIDN Victoria, "is also expected to grow the already diverse and capable defence industry sector in Victoria by encouraging new entrants to pursue opportunities in the defence marketplace".
AIDN-Victoria president Stephen Harvey said he was particularly pleased that the new program promised to be accessible and to expedite applications from small businesses, removing unnecessary administrative burdens and processing delays.
"This new commitment of funding from the Victorian government is another vote of confidence in the local companies that provide niche capabilities to the defence sector," Harvey said.
"The funding will allow companies to achieve much-needed certification and accreditation standards that are often essential to pre-qualify for involvement in defence work."
AIDN-Victoria, which aims to assist Victorian SMEs in gaining greater access to information, resources and key decision makers in the public and private sectors of the Australian and international defence industries, is confident the partnership will give businesses the assistance they need the most for defence industry work.
"The partnership and involvement of specialist advisers from the federal government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability will help businesses to know what support they most need. AIDN-Victoria congratulates the Victorian government on this new program, and notes it is complementary to existing small business assistance programs," said Harvey.
"Together with the recent announcement of the re-appointment of Greg Combet as the Victorian defence industry advocate, in his vital advocacy role, today’s announcement reinforces the government’s commitment to ensuring that Victorian defence suppliers can compete on the national, and international, stage."
AIDN-Victoria is endorsed and actively supported by the state government of Victoria, through the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, which has assisted the network with funding to undertake marketing initiatives and provide comprehensive member services. The Victorian government also provides funding support for the Victorian Defence Alliances, managed through AIDN.