Defence businesses use grants to grow export

Two Australian manufacturers have been successful in leveraging government grants to grow their export businesses.

The Blueprint Laboratory, a robotics manufacturer based in Sydney, will use the funding to develop its subsea, remotely operated manipulators and actuators to be sold around the world. Currently the arms are used locally in the naval defence sector, as well as the oil and gas sector and undersea recovery operations. The funding from the Defence Global Competitiveness Grants will enable the manufacturer to meet accreditation for export to the US and UK militaries.

The other recipient, Natex Engineering, which supplies components for automotive, mining, agriculture, building, and manufacturing applications, has indicated they will use the funding to increase their production capabilities.

Announcing the $130,000 in grants, Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, highlighted how the fund provides backing for businesses.

“The Defence Global Competitiveness Grants seek to build a stronger, more sustainable and globally competitive Australian defence industry by supporting small businesses to build export capability,” said Price.

While Australia’s defence manufacturing spending has sought to grow defence industries locally, through grants such as this the expertise grown locally can grow to support international exports, with benefits flowing through to Australian industry, as Price noted.

“We know more exporting businesses means more Australian jobs, so we’re giving small business the tools they need to take their products and services to the world.”

Finding international customers will also enable local manufacturers to survive in between local defence contracts, said Price.

“Helping small businesses become ‘export-ready’ means they can take up opportunities to help them grow and create more jobs,” she said.