To get an understanding of the recently released Defence Industry Capability Plan I went along to hear Matt Ramage and Sheridan Kearnan from the Department of Defence speak at the July Defence Watch lunch in Canberra.
The Defence Industry Capability Plan was developed to give Australia the ability to develop and control our defence capabilities.
From their presentations, I identified three key themes important to Australian SME businesses and individuals working or seeking to work in Defence Industry.
Support for SME business
- Tenderers are required to maximise Australian Industry Content (AIC) and compliance measures have been established.
- CDIC will give guidance on how to put forward SME AIC proposals.
- Defence Innovation Hub will issue Special Notices to show industry what the defined, priority needs are. This will allow industry to invest with greater confidence.
- Defence Innovation Hub is funded with over $600 million to 2026 to support the development of new technologies.
- Next Gen Technology Fund run by DSTG has a $730 million budget over the next decade to support the development of new technologies.
- $20 million has been allocated to Defence Export Office to give exporters competitive advantage and support in foreign markets.
- The Australian Military Sales Catalogue was launched in March this year. An updated version is to be released next month.
- Defence will be holding state-based export forums to identify and promote export capabilities and opportunities.
- The number of trade missions will be doubled and specific targeting of locations where we have a competitive advantage.
Access to Skills
- Defence Industry STEM strategy will be released in the third quarter this year.
- Whilst we aren’t experiencing skill unavailability yet, we will soon and it will hamper our ability to deliver the required capabilities if we do not plan to address the issue now.
- An advertising campaign is underway to educate the nation on opportunities for businesses and individuals in the Defence Sector.
Overall, there is a lot of investment and good intent here. It should give more opportunity and direction for Australian SME businesses to do work in Defence Industry.
It will require the active participation of government and industry together to get the most out of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
To find out more about the opportunities for Australian SME business in Defence Industry visit the Centre for Defence Industry Capability.
By Rob Kremer