The government has awarded $1.85 million in grants to small businesses looking to expand overseas as Australia's largest-ever defence trade delegation prepares for a major defence tradeshow in London, Defence Security & Equipment International (DSEI).
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced the 13 grant recipients at the Defence Industry and Innovation Day held at Australia House ahead of DSEI.
“The Defence Global Competitiveness Grants help Australian small businesses to build their export capability, which presents new opportunities in overseas markets,” Minister Price said.
“Importantly, helping small businesses become ‘export-ready’ means they can take up opportunities to help them grow and create more Australian jobs.”
The government is investing up to $4.1 million each year under the Defence Global Competiveness Grants program, a key initiative of the Defence Export Strategy.
Gold Coast company Craig International Ballistics – one of the 60 Australian companies in London attending DSEI – will use its grant to adapt its composite body armour systems to meet the needs of international markets and customers, and is already enjoying success in the UK.
The company last year signed a joint venture with UK-based company Cooneen Protection – a partnership that has resulted in Craig International Ballistics being shortlisted to submit a tender response to the UK Ministry of Defence with an estimated value of $100 million.
Another member of the Team Defence Australia delegation, Defendtex, will use the grant to purchase specialised equipment which will enable it to scale up production at its facility in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin.
"As our strategic environment becomes more complex, our need for a defence industry that can support a more capable, potent and agile Defence Force – and meet the challenges of tomorrow – becomes greater," Minister Price said. "Maximising the involvement of small busines helps us create a defence industry that is robust, resilient and internationally competitive."
The grant recipients are: Australian Performance Vehicles; Levett Engineering; Defendtex; Quality Production Engineers; Craig International Ballistics; Athinian Valley; Nupress Tools; Carbonicboats; PMB Defence Engineering; Dobbie Dico Meter Company; Ruslyn Holdings; QPE Fabrications; and Helimods.