The Australian Government has launched the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants programme to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the country.
The annual grants programme has been designed to support the ten sovereign industrial capability priorities.
Up to $17m in grants will be provided to SMEs every year with an aim to build the nation’s sovereign capability to protect and secure Australia.
The funding will allow Australian firms to build a deeper and stronger defence industrial base and have the capacity and ability to support the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) most critical capabilities.
Identified in the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan, the sovereign industrial capability priorities play a major role in addressing the operational requirements of the ADF.
Australia’s defence industrial base is said to be primarily composed of SMEs from across the country.
Government funding will provide support to eligible Australian SMEs that have less than 200 employees and will enable the firms to meet up to 50% of their project costs, including capital equipment, specialist software and security infrastructure, non-recurring engineering costs, design activities or enhancing workforce training and accreditation.
Eligible SMEs will be able to receive an unlimited number of grants over the entire lifetime of the programme, with a minimum value of $50,000 and maximum of $1m, up to a total of $3m over a period of three years.
Over the next ten years, the Australian government intends to invest more than $200bn in support of the country’s defence capability, generating new jobs and boosting the economy of the region.