To ensure Australia has a strong, sovereign industrial base, the government allows grants ranging from $50,000 to $1million to SME businesses through the Sovereign Industrial Capability Program.
The government initiative was launched on 21st November 2018 to support SMEs and ensure they have the capacity and resilience to support Defence’s most critical capabilities.
Grant recipients include manufacturing companies supporting our land combat vehicles, businesses undertaking research and development on cutting-edge technologies and local businesses delivering the government’s naval shipbuilding plan.
The criteria of the grants must align to one of the following:
- Collins Class submarine maintenance and technology upgrade;
- Continuous shipbuilding program (including rolling submarine acquisition);
- Land combat and protected vehicles and technology upgrade;
- Enhanced active phased array and passive radar capability;
- Combat clothing survivability and signature reduction technologies;
- Advanced signal processing;
- Surveillance and intelligence;
- Test, evaluation, certification and systems assurance;
- Munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture; and,
- Aerospace platform deeper maintenance and structural integrity.
$3.4 million has been shared between 8 Australian businesses that fit the above criteria, strengthening our onshore capabilities.
The SMEs must be able to fund at least 30% of their proposed projects, as the government will cover up to 70% of the total project costs.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price commented, “by prioritising ten key capabilities and supporting Australian small businesses who are contributing to them, we’re developing a strong, sovereign industrial base.”
“These grants support our bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic… this will help build a robust, resilient and competitive defence industry that utilises Australian jobs and knowledge.”
This government grant programme ensured the capabilities assessed as critical to Defence, can and will be developed and supported by Australian onshore businesses.