Defence industry grants up to $1m for SMEs

Grant applications are open for small and medium businesses (SMEs) to help build Australia’s industrial defence base.

ASC submarine maintenance facility at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson.

The Defence Industry Development Grant (DIDG) program provides $150 million over four years to support SMEs in four streams that align with Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities (SDIPs) outlined in the Defence Industry Development Strategy: 

  • Sovereign Industrial Priorities – $50,000-$1m: Purchase manufacturing plant and equipment which is used directly to develop and/or deliver programs. 
  • Exports – $15,000-$250,000: Overcome export barriers and help defence industry build scale and competitiveness in defence capability priority areas. 
  • Skilling – $5,000-$250,000: Upskill and train in priority trade, technical and professional skillsets to develop a workforce with the right mix of qualified and experienced personnel to meet Defence requirements. 
  • Security – $10,000-$100,000: Improve and maintain security in priority areas. 

The four streams will be assessed in batches.  

Initial batch closing dates are July 31, 2024, for the Export and Skilling streams, and August 31, 2024, for the Sovereign Industrial Priorities and Security streams. 

Grants will cover up to 50% of eligible expenditure. All projects will need to be completed by March 31, 2028.  

Federal Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy says the grant program will “help local businesses to grow, innovate and create high skilled, well-paid jobs for hard-working Australians”.  

“The new program places stronger emphasis on our need to focus financial support on industry priorities which have flowed from the Defence Strategic Review, through the Defence Industry Development Strategy which I released in February, and with clear alignment to the National Defence Strategy which was released in April,” he says. 

The DIDG program replaces and expands previous defence industry grant programs.  

Nine businesses were recipients under the previous Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority and Defence Global Competitiveness Grant programs, receiving a total of $2.9m in funding. 


CCIWA’s Grant Finder can help you identify which local, State or Federal Government grants best suit your business needs. 


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