Defence businesses across the state will be supported to engage in active research and development, as part of a new NSW government-funded program led by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO.
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The established CSIRO Innovate to Grow program, currently being trialled for the NSW defence sector, aims to turbocharge industry innovation, create jobs and secure the future of the NSW defence industry.
Applications are now open, particularly targeting businesses either directly involved with or looking to expand into the defence sector, across key regions including Greater Sydney, the Hunter, Shoalhaven/Illawarra, Riverina-Murray and capital regions.
"This program will leverage innovation-aware businesses interested in taking their operation to the next level by investigating new research and development opportunities and wider engagement with research organisations," Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres said.
"Our vision for a forward-thinking and world-leading NSW defence industry depends on removing barriers to collaboration between industry and researchers to harness the potential of long-term partnerships.
"Piloting this program for defence will complement our existing defence industry innovation efforts, including $1.9 million to support the NSW Defence Innovation Network to generate high-tech defence solutions and develop a collaborative research ecosystem."
The NSW government has provided $25,000 to up-skill up to 30 defence-compatible small to medium businesses via the free self-paced 10-week virtual program to provide expert connections and training to understand R&D opportunities.
Member for the South Coast Shelley Hancock further explained that the NSW government's investment in defence businesses provides a ripe opportunity for local businesses to collaborate with the public sector.
"The South Coast is home to some of our nation’s hardest workers and brightest minds,” Hancock said.
"These projects will enable sharp-minded and ambitious businesses to further boost their capabilities, contribute to a state-wide defence program and train their staff.
"All while supporting the state’s invaluable defence industry.”
CSIRO SME collaboration lead Dr George Feast said the program had a successful track record to date in a range of high-priority sectors.
"To date we’ve delivered the program to more than 200 businesses in a number of key sectors including cyber security and agriculture, and will be expanding to energy manufacturing, health and now defence," Dr Feast said.
"Our primary goal through this program is to equip businesses with the right knowledge and capabilities to enable them to build their confidence with getting involved with R&D, which can help them come up with new ideas for their business.
"Each course is very much sector-specific, and participants will get to hear directly from industry and research experts, be paired with a CSIRO or university mentor and work alongside other like-minded businesses."
Applications to participate are open until Monday, 11 April 2022.