The NGTF is delivering a total of $36 million over one year, focused on nine key priorities of the 2016 Defence White Paper, including integrated information, surveillance and education, space capabilities and cyber defence. Incubator Support – Expert-in-Residence offers grants of up to $100,000 to incubators to gain access to top-notch research, management and technical talent through the entry and exit of national or international experts. This expertise aims to increase the capacities of incubators and improve the chances of commercial success for start-ups in international markets. The initiative is a national programme that has been designed to inspire solutions from individuals that strengthen Australia`s ability to do artificial intelligence and promote a national network focused on developing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that are of considerable importance to Australia`s defence and national security community. The Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA) will provide significant opportunities for Australian small businesses to explore innovative and visionary projects that will help improve the defence industry`s ability to support the priorities of the Australian Armed Forces. The Defence Innovation Hub is an initiative of the Defence Industry Policy Statement 2016 and will invest approximately $640 million over the ten years up to 2025-26 in the maturation and development of technologies that have gone from the early scientific stages to the engineering and development phases of the innovation process. It is an exciting initiative that will bring together research institutes, universities, industry and innovative technologies. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said ICERA is funded by the Next Generation Technologies Defence Fund (NGTF), which focuses on research and development of new and future technologies. “Australia`s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes,” said Minister Price. Price said the small business sector plays an important role in supporting defense science and technology research priorities, which support ADF skills needs. The first axis of the ICERA initiative will focus on cyber defence and cybersecurity, while subsequent cycles will focus on a number of other priority areas, including integrated intelligence surveillance and information, medical counter-measures, space and autonomous trust systems. Successful projects may be considered for other funding or opportunities through other means and mechanisms. Over the next ten years, the Commonwealth Government is investing $270 billion in Australia`s defence capability to build a stronger defence industry.
The Government continues to focus its long-term efforts on establishing a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industrial base. As part of this commitment, they provided information on subsidies and innovation promotion, export support and our 2020-21 budget measures. “Australia`s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes. This change is something that was clearly highlighted in the recent 2020 Defense Strategic Update,” Price said.