Defence Trailblazer has announced a $12 million grant scheme to fast-track the development of Australia’s defence industry capabilities.

Expressions of interest are now open for the Accelerating Sovereign Industrial Capabilities (ASIC) grant program, with an online information session being held on Wednesday 5 June for interested parties.

The program will enable the accelerate the translation of defence R&D activities into capabilities aligned to the seven Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities (SDIPs).

“The Defence Industry Development Strategy states that developing the sovereign defence industrial base Australia needs to meet our strategic circumstances requires targeted industrial development in areas of strategic priority,” said Executive Director for Defence Trailblazer Dr Sanjay Mazumdar.

“The ASIC program aims to enable faster commercialisation of larger scale defence R&D activities and collaborations aligned to the new strategic priority capabilities Defence requires.”

Established in 2022 and supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Defence Trailblazer is a partnership between the University of Adelaide and UNSW Sydney, supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Education.

In collaboration with more than 40 industry, academic and government partners, the Defence Trailblazer has provided $200 million-plus in investment to accelerating cutting-edge innovations.  These initiatives aim to strengthen Australia’s defence sovereign capability, with 66 industry-academia projects underway.

ASIC project proposals by industry are currently being sought and must include at least one Defence Trailblazer research university. Successful applicants will be required to provide matching cash co-contributions.

Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate ability to build scale in R&D with a stronger weighting given towards small-medium enterprise (SME) led and multi-party project proposals. Defence Trailblazer can assist in finding appropriate capabilities at universities and existing industry partners.

Applications for the ASIC program close on 10 July 2024.

Learn more about the Accelerating Sovereign Industrial Capabilities program.