Eight Australian small businesses will share in more than $3.4 million in grants as part of the Morrison Government’s continued push to grow Australia’s sovereign defence industry.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the latest round of Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants would provide the businesses and the wider Australian economy with a major boost.

“These grants support our bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen our sovereign defence industrial base,” Minister Price said.

“Weld Australia, based in NSW, is a great example of how beneficial these grants can be.

“It is bringing a welding accreditation to Australia, developing Australian supply chains for the Land 400 Phase 2 project and beyond, and ensuring we have the skills in Australia to deliver and sustain critical defence capabilities.”

Canberra-based Penten, Australian Performance Vehicles (Campbellfield, Victoria) and Gilmour Space Technologies (Gold Coast) will use their grant funding to upgrade their infrastructure used to test and evaluate emerging technologies and capabilities.

“Gilmour Space Technologies’ testing facility will ensure the safety and reliability of Defence platforms and vehicles across a range of domains, and enhance Australia’s sovereign ability to gain maximum benefit from our capability,” Minister Price said.

“Penten’s grant will support the construction of a secure facility fitted with information communications technology infrastructure.

“I was fortunate enough to visit Penten in Canberra in November and witness first-hand the important work it is doing to help ensure the ADF maintains its capability edge well into the future.”

The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant program supports opportunities to drive Australian innovation, making our small businesses more competitive and our supply chains more secure.

This grant program is a key enabler of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities, which are the capabilities assessed as critical to Defence, and must be developed or supported by Australian industry.

Grant applications can be made at any time and submitted through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability