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Cyber the early focus of ICERA small business grant program

Australian SMEs can apply for up to $300,000-worth of grant support for cyber projects under the Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA). Photo: Defence

Australian small businesses will be recruited to join the fight against cyber threats under the new Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA). This will fund Australian SMEs significant opportunities to investigate innovative and visionary projects to develop ambitious, game-changing capabilities for the ADF. These will contribute to improving Defence industry’s ability to support ADF capability priorities.

ICERA is funded through DST’s NGTF program. Up to $36 million will be available over six years. The NGTF is looking for innovative proposals from agile SMEs who are able to adapt to current national and international circumstances to help contribute to Defence’s innovation agenda. As an example, applicants may propose to develop and validate next generation concepts or evolve existing technologies to deliver leap ahead capabilities.
Support of up to $300,000 per proposal will be provided for projects for up to 18 months, according to Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.

“Australia’s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes. This change is something which has been clearly highlighted in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update that was released recently.

“Our small business sector has a more important role than ever in contributing to Defence’s science and technology research priorities that support ADF capability needs.

Later rounds of ICERA are expected to focus on a range of other priority areas, including integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, medical countermeasures, space, and trusted autonomous systems.

The Morrison Government is continuing to invest in Australia’s growing defence industry, which is playing an essential role in our economic recovery post-COVID-19.

Successful projects may be considered for further funding or opportunities through other avenues and mechanisms.

For further information visit:
Key Dates

  • Application Opening Date: Wednesday 100019 August 2020 AEDST
  • Application Closing Date:1700 Friday 18 September 2020 AEDST
  • Indicative Award Announcement Date: Thursday15 October 2020
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