Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants

Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority (SICP) Grants

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What is the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant?

The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant provides funding for projects that build capabilities aligned with Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.


The objective of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant is to support Australian SMEs to supply capabilities that are most critical to Defence. The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants will help Australian SMEs to invest in projects that build capabilities aligned with Defence’s stated Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.

The intended outcome of the grant is to grow a robust and resilient Australian SME industrial base capable of providing a significant contribution to Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.

Sovereign Industrial Capability Grant - Application Form


The Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) is a key initiative of the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement. The CDIC provides strategic leadership for the Australian defence sector and partners with industry to help build a strong, sustainable, innovative and internationally competitive Australian industry that meets defence capability requirements.

The intended outcomes of the CDIC are to:

  • improve the business capability, productivity and global competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the defence sector
  • ensure that industry and Defence are well connected in order to tailor business capabilities to defence industrial priorities
  • contribute to a strong, sustainable, and internationally competitive defence industry.


The following key changes have been made to Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants:

  • Minimum grant funding available has increased from $50,000 to $70,000.
  • Maximum grant funding available has increased from $1 million to $1.4 million.
  • Industry co-contribution has reduced from 50% of eligible project value to 30% of eligible project value.
  • Design, engineering and commissioning activities and workforce training and accreditation must clearly relate to the core project activities.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure
  • have at least $100,000 in eligible expenditure
  • occur within Australia.

The maximum grant period is 30 months.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant, you must

  • be an SME with less than 200 employees
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)

and be one of the following entities:

  • a company, incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust

In order to be eligible for the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant you must

  • provide evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • provide an external Accountant Declaration that confirms you can fund your share of the project costs. You must use the Accountant Declaration form available at the bottom of this page.


Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities applications open on an ongoing basis.

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More Information

How to get the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant?

Priorities – 50%
The extent to which your project will help you contribute to Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities

You should demonstrate this by describing the extent that your project will contribute to the development, enhancement and maintenance of one or more of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities, as outlined in the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.

Capability – 30%
Your capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project.

You should demonstrate this through identifying:

  1. your plan to manage the project. Include detail on the key risks, timeframes and budget.
  2. your track record managing similar projects. Include detail on the key personnel with the right skills and experience, including management and technical staff who will manage the delivery of the project.
  3. how you will measure the success of the project.
  4. your ability to secure your intellectual property, equipment and technology against physical and cyber threats.

Impact – 20%
The impact of grant funding.

Demonstrate how the grant funding will assist your organisation by:

  • describing the likelihood the project would proceed without the grant and explain how the grant will benefit the size and timing of your project. If you have already received a SICP grant explain why you need additional funding.
  • justifying the funding amount requested with respect to the scale of the project and intended outcomes.
  • how the project will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of your business. Include detail on the commercial viability of the project.
  • the broader economic benefits from your project.

Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority

Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are industrial capabilities considered critical to Defence and for which Australia must have access to, or control over, the skills, technology, intellectual property, financial resources and infrastructure that underpin those capabilities.

The initial Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are:

  • Collins class submarine maintenance and technology upgrade
  • continuous shipbuilding program (including rolling submarine acquisition)
  • land combat vehicle and technology upgrade
  • enhanced active and passive phased array radar capability
  • combat clothing survivability and signature reduction technologies
  • advanced signal processing capability in electronic warfare, cyber and information security, and signature management technologies and operations
  • surveillance and intelligence data collection, analysis, dissemination and complex systems integration
  • test, evaluation, certification and systems assurance
  • munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture
  • aerospace platform deep maintenance.

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Latest Recipients


Grant AmountGrant Funding PurposeState
EPE$1,400,000Development of a world leading specialised unmanned systems proving ground, training area, and supporting Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield explosives (CBRNe) Sensor Test and Assurance Laboratory specifically for Australian requirements.QLD
Diamond Defence Pty Ltd$290,990Expansion of fibre-optic manufacturing capability at its Melbourne facility. Will enable locally manufactured, high performance military-spec fibre optic assemblies and harnesses which are not currently available in Australia.VIC
Moog Australia$209,772Support to acquire and install new specialist equipment.VIC
Novafast International Pty Ltd$1,366,962Support the acquisition and installation of new robotics equipment for new manufacturing technologies in composite products.SA
Varley Rafael Australia$183,022Expansion of current Guided Weapons capabilities by setting up and commissioning a SPIKE Launcher assembly line, by upgrading facilities and associated security measures.VIC
HTA Group Pty Ltd$1,069,479Support the acquisition and installation of specialist equipment for defence and aerospace compliant vacuum hardening processes in Victoria and New South Wales.VIC/NSW
Australian Precision Technologies Pty Ltd$1,054,137Expansion and update of specialist equipment and current facilities for precision machining and milling.VIC
Able Industries Engineering Pty Ltd$1,395,344Purchase, construct, install and commission new capital equipment, implement workforce training, skills development and quality accreditation.VIC
Able Industries Engineering Pty Ltd$331,450Completed required building modifications to enhance the company’s ability to manufacture key components.VIC
Abstec Calibrations Australia Pty Ltd$185,117Extension of existing laboratory area to meet increased demand from defence industry and to improve their National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) scope of accreditationSA
GW Kewder Engineering Pty Ltd$294,000Investment in specialist machining tools to continue to support the manufacture of precision components.VIC
Campagno Engineering Pty Ltd$609,266Acquire and install specialist equipment.



10 May 2022 – Defence co-funds undersea drones with American tech firm

The federal government will co-fund a three-year $140 million unmanned undersea vehicle development program with military tech firm Anduril. Three Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUV) prototypes are to be produced by the US firm’s Australian subsidiary in collaboration with the Royal Australian Navy and the Defence Science and Technology Group. The project would be designed, developed and manufactured entirely in Australia. Almost all parts of the supply chain for this program would be fulfilled in partnership with Australian small to medium sized enterprises and technology communities.

The Anduril XL-AUV will be designed, developed, and manufactured in Australia for export to our allies around the world, with significant Australian SME input. The AUVs are generally 10-30 metres long and are designed to have a multi-role undersea capability over a long distance. They can be fitted to provide surveillance and reconnaissance, mine counter-warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and seafloor mapping among other things. Most recently, it was awarded almost US$1 billion to deliver counter drone capabilities to the US Special Operations Command.


08 March 2022 – Australian companies unite to deliver Defence space work

Eight leading Australian-owned space and defence companies have formed a new consortium to capitalise on increased funding from the federal government and the need for sovereign space defence capabilities around satellites and situational awareness.

The Australian Defence Industry Space Capability Alliance (ADISCA) was revealed at the Australian Space Forum on Thursday. ADISCA members are DEWC Systems, Inovor Technologies, Neumann Space, Nova Systems, Southern Launch, REDARC Defence Systems, and Space Machines Company.


19 October 2021 – SoftIron opens first manufacturing facility in Australia

SoftIron received a A$1.5 million Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant towards the facility. The grants provide up to 70% of the cost of a project that builds capabilities aligned with the Australian Department of Defence’s sovereign industrial Capability Priorities. SoftIron’s new facility builds on its expansion in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.


07 May 2021 – Hi-tech robot boost for Lonsdale manufacturer

A 3D printing and robotic welding unit has been unveiled at Rowlands Metalworks in Lonsdale, which the sheet metal manufacturer says is a key to expanding its defence work nationally.

The Arcemy unit is made by northern suburbs company AML3D and is the first commercial unit to be launched in the state.

AML3D delivered the Arcemy unit to Lonsdale-based Rowlands Metalworks last month and managing director Andy Sales said there was increasing interest from around the world in the cutting-edge technology.

The $500,000 investment was supported by a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant from the Federal Government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability. It follows the export of an Arce my unit to Singapore last year and is being shipped to Perth.


02 March 2021 – K-TIG begins welding technology rollout to Australian defence with partner Axiom Precision Manufacturing’s government grant

K-TIG’s defence industry partner Axiom Precision Manufacturing has collared $1 million in federal government funding to fast-track deployment of K-TIG’s proprietary advanced welding technology to the nation’s multi-billion-dollar defence sector.

The Australian Government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) has provided the $1 million as part of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant. Under the grant, Axiom will create plate armour and other structures for the Australian defence department using K-TIG’s welding technology.


24 February 2021 – Three manufacturers received $2,092,340

Axiom Precision Manufacturing, M & I Samaras and Jehbco Manufacturing have collectively been awarded $2,092,340 in Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants.

Axiom and M & I were awarded $1 million each, and Jehbco $92,340.

Adelaide’s Axiom Precision Manufacturing began in 1979 as Diemould Tooling, an automotive supplier. It started producing face shields last year for protecting health and aged care workers from Covid-19.


27 January 2021 –  $3.4m in grants awarded to defence SMEs

Eight Australian small businesses will share in more than $3.4 million in grants as part of the federal 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.

The full list of grant recipients are below:

  • Gilmour Space Technologies
  • Weld Australia
  • Penten
  • Australian Performance Vehicles
  • Amiga Engineering
  • B.E. Switchcraft
  • Profluid
  • Terra Schwartz


Sovereign Industrial Capability Grant - Application Form

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