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Government launches Defence Innovation Hub to open collaboration opportunities to businesses

Aiming to shape the future for Defence and business, the Federal Government this week opened the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) in Adelaide and online Defence Innovation Hub.  

The CDIC, backed by a $230 million government investment to be sustained over the next decade, offers Australian businesses a space to interact with defence experts to learn more about developing the skills and resources required to work within the Australian Defence industry.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the centre offers a unique opportunity for supporting and growing the Australian Defence Industry.

“The opening of the CDIC is a significant step in resetting the Defence and Industry relationship and driving jobs and growth across the country,” Minister Pyne said.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to working hand in hand with the Australian defence industry to develop Australian technologies, enhance global competitiveness and grow export opportunities.”

Businesses are able to contact the CDIC through the Defence Innovation Hub, an online portal which offers information about services within defence, domestic opportunities, stakeholder collaboration and the ability to apply for grants.

Minister Pyne said the innovation portal will invest around $640 million over the decade into maturing and further developing technologies that have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development stages.

“The Defence Innovation Hub will provide an equal opportunity for all participants from small to medium enterprises to prime defence contractors to put forward their great ideas, make connections and collaborate in the development of innovative technology.”

Once a proposal is submitted, it will be sent to the CDIC for assessment by Defence business advisors. Through educating Australian businesses and providing them a direct path to investment, the government hopes the platform will help form a tight relationship between developing industry skills and meeting Defence capability needs.

Promoting innovation within the Australia’s Defence Industry was identified as a strong focus of the Turnbull government with the launch of the Defence Industry Policy Statement in February this year.

In addition to outlining spending across “critical infrastructure” and weaponry, the statement pledged a $1.6 billion total investment towards streamlining Defence innovation, forming the $640 million that will be made available to businesses through grants.

Another $730 million will be invested across the next decade under the Next Generation Technologies Fund into developing innovative technologies to be used within Australian Defence.

The government has committed a total of  total $195 billion towards advancing Australian Defence capabilities.

With Turnbull having promoted the idea of agile government and government as a customer since the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda last year, Defence is just one sector where the government is looking to make it easier for startups and other businesses to work with and sell their products and services to government.

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor late last month launched an ICT Procurement Taskforce, looking to garner feedback from startups and small to medium enterprises on how government ICT contracts can be made more accessible to small innovators.

The Taskforce is seeking feedback on how to improve innovation in government through ICT procurement, looking at the experiences smaller providers have had with the procurement process.

You can learn more about the CDIC here.

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