Priority Industry Capability Innovation Program

Up to $4M is available to commercialise innovative defence technologies.



The Priority Industry Capability (PIC) Innovation Program is an Australian Government initiative, providing direct support in the form of repayable, matched grants, to Australian defence companies. The program particularly focuses on assisting small to medium sized enterprises to pursue innovative defence industry projects.

PIC Innovation Program grants support Australia’s defence industry to develop, adopt and commercialise innovative technologies, methodologies, materials or systems in areas defined as Priority Industry Capabilities (PICs).

The Program aims to deliver greater assurance that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will receive cutting edge and innovative solutions to its material, systems, support and sustainment needs, to support its operational needs. It will also support the defence industry sector to make the most of business opportunities within Australia and overseas.


The Program

The Australian Government, through DMO, is investing a total of $45 million in the PIC Innovation Program over the next 8 years.

The Program will provide up to $4 million (GST exclusive) in funding to successful applicants; these funds can be used to assist companies undertaking innovative projects relating to one or more of the PICs.

Grantees who successfully commercialise their project may be required to make payments to the Commonwealth, based on the gross sales revenue generated by the project’s output.



To be eligible for PIC Innovation Program funding, Australian based defence companies must show that they currently have and support an Australian defence contract or subcontract, or that they have the technical and corporate capacity to support a defence capability which has been publicly foreshadowed for tender within the Defence Capability Plan. More information on eligibility requirements can be found within the Program Guidelines.


How will my application be assessed?

If an application satisfies the applicant, project and application eligibility requirements, it will be subject to a competitive assessment. Applications will be assessed by an assessment panel against five merit criteria. The assessment panel members will have extensive knowledge and experience in Defence and in defence industry sectors as they relate to PICs.

What criteria will my project be assessed against?

This is a merit-based program. Only applications that demonstrate a high level of merit against each of the criteria listed below will be considered for a grant:

  • Strategic benefit: The project will provide a strategic benefit to Defence and the Australian defence industry in relation to the PIC it intends to support.  Innovation: The project is innovative in supporting one or more of the existing PICs.
  • Commercial, exports and market development: The project will have good prospects for driving additional commercial work, including in domestic and/or overseas markets.
  • Management capability: The project will be supported by an appropriate level of expertise and business management skills to successfully complete the project. Consideration will be given to the timeframe for completion of the project.
  • Value for money: The project will provide a value-for-money outcome to Defence and has a strong chance of being successfully commercialised. The project should also contribute to the Department of Defence’s Strategic Reform Program.


What are PICs?

PICs are capabilities that are strategically important to the ADF, which confer an essential strategic advantage by being resident in Australia, and which, if not available, would significantly undermine defence self-reliance and ADF operational capability.  Innovative projects that improve particular aspects of the following PICs may be considered:

  • Acoustic technologies and systems;
  • Anti-tampering capabilities;
  • Combat uniform and personal equipment;
  • Electronic warfare;
  • ‘High end’ system and ‘system of systems’ integration;
  • High frequency and phased array radars;
  • Infantry weapons and remote weapons stations;
  • In-service support of Collins class submarine combat system;
  • Selected ballistic munitions and explosives;
  • Ship dry docking and common user facilities;
  • Signature management
  • Through-life and real time support of mission critical and safety critical software.


What type of project will the grant support?

The Program may fund projects that clearly support one or more of the current PICs.

Eligible projects may include:

  • The introduction of a new technology or equipment which will improve a pic;
  • The diversification of an existing technology and/or equipment relating to a PIC from one defence domain (land/maritime/air) to another domain or across industry sectors (for example, from a commercial sector to a defence sector);
  • The commercialisation of applied research to a pic; and The enhancement of the ability to sustain and/or upgrade a PIC.

Support will be available for defence industry projects that have successfully demonstrated a solution in a relevant environment and are now moving closer to commercialisation and operational capability for the ADF.  Projects should have good prospects for driving additional work in Australian industry.


Grant Recipients

The first round of PIC Innovation Program grants which were awarded in 2011-12.

Australian Defence ApparelArmour Technologies Commercialisation and Expansion ProjectThe project’s aim is to commercialise a new suite of armour technologies to expand ADA’s capacity to manufacture high quality armoured products at a cost that is competitive in the global market.Priority Industry Capability supported:

  • Combat Uniform and Personal Equipment
C4iSwitchplusNG – integrated network centric Command and Control (C2) CommunicationsSwitchplusNG is a fifth generation end to end internet protocol based voice and data communication system. The project’s aim is to develop and enhance a number of sub systems (Communications Simulator, High AvailabilityCommunications, Multi-Domain Secure Interface Units and Multi-Purpose Gateways) under the SwitchplusNG program.

Priority Industry Capability supported:

  • ‘High End’ systems and ‘System of Systems’ Integration
  • Through-life and real time support of mission critical and safety critical software
  • In-Service Support of Collins-Class Submarine Combat System
CEA TechnologiesCEAFAR Phased Array Radar Land Environment Transition ProjectThe objective of this project is to transition CEAFAR Active Phased Array technology from the Maritime to the Land environment and establish a Multi Mission Radar hardware platform that is able to support: Air-Surveillance, Air TrafficControl, Weapon Location and Ground Based Air Defence.

Priority Industry Capability supported:

  • High Frequency and Phased Array Radars
Cirrus RTPSSensor Association and Fusion Engine (SAFE)SAFE is a technology that addresses a core problem with sensor and/or combat systems that track contacts; how to determine which sensor measurements associate to which (if any) tracks, and which sensor measurements associate to background clutter.SAFE is designed to use internal algorithms that have a much lower computational impact than those algorithms traditionally used for this “track association” problem in combat systems.

Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Acoustic Technologies and Systems
  • Through-life and real time support of mission critical and safety critical software
  • In-Service Support of Collins-Class Submarine Combat System
MicreoFast-turning Wideband SynthesiserThe project’s aim is to commercialise a new high performance frequency synthesiser with sub-microsecond switching speed and excellent spurious suppression across an output frequency range of 2-20 GHz.Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Electronic Warfare
Quintessence LabsVirtual Zeroisation Storage and Management System for Military Information PlatformsThe project’s aim is to significantly improve the anti-tamper capability of stored data through the implementation of a system which is always active and does not rely on reactive or physical countermeasures. The data is in effect protected before a tamper event even occurs.Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Anti-Tampering Capabilities
  • ‘High End’ systems and ‘System of Systems’ Integration
Secure SystemsSecure Portable Anti-Tamper Data Storage SolutionsThe project seeks to develop the next generation of portable Silicon Data Vaults that will be able to store and protect Top Secret data yet allow handling as a ‘For Official Use Only’ device; or protect Secret data yet allow handling as an Unclassified device.Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Anti-Tampering Capabilities
Sentient Vision SystemAutomated Target Detection and Cueing System forRemote Weapons StationsThe project will develop automated target detection capability for Remote Weapons Stations (RWS). By analysing the imagery from the long-range and battlefield sensors of the RWS, the proposed Automated Target Detection and Cueing system will give significantly enhanced capability to RWS operators increasing its effectiveness.

Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Infantry Weapons Remote Weapons Station
Sonartech AtlasSonix Sonobuoy Architecture and Acoustic Processing ModernisationThe project’s aim is to modernise and extend the capabilities of the Sonix System which has applications for Maritime Ranging and Surface Ship ASW and Torpedo Defence.Priority Industry Capabilities supported:

  • Acoustic Technologies and Systems


Other Information

PIC Innovation Program Guidelines
PIC Innovation Program Applicant Guidelines
PIC Innovation Program Application Form
PIC Innovation Program Project Budget Calculator
PIC Innovation Program sample Funding Agreement
PIC Innovation Program Information Session Presentation
PIC Innovation Program Fact Sheet
Priority Industry Capabilities Fact Sheet


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