In a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on 2 July, the Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, stated her department’s commitment to building Australia’s defence industry and enhancing innovation.
“As part of Defence’s forward agenda, Minister [for Defence Industry Melissa] Price and I have prioritised Defence’s collaboration with Australian industry. And we do that to build a resilient and internationally competitive sovereign defence industrial base. The massive global disturbance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for Australia to build stronger, more resilient and more assured supply chains.
“Defence’s industry policy will expand Australia’s sovereign capability to strengthen supply chains and also to improve the ADF’s agility. Through the Australian Industry Capability Program, ten Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities have been identified. These will be developed or supported by Australian companies, and in turn will support Australia’s sovereign industrial base. Critically important now, this means greater certainty for industry, jobs for Australians and better and more resilient capabilities for the ADF.
“Our defence capabilities will be further enhanced by targeted research. Research that brings together the distinct strengths of academia, of industry and publically-funded research agencies, to address some of our biggest strategic challenges. Over the next decade, the Government has allocated $3 billion of capability investment funding for Defence innovation, science and technology. We will also increase investment in the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub. A Capability Acceleration Fund will also be established by the middle of this decade, an investment of $130 million to support the intensive development of disruptive technologies. The Government’s investment in Defence will continue to shore up our sovereign industrial capability and continue to grow jobs here in Australia.”