Australian DoD Programs Reach Out to SMEs
In early December 2008, Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement Greg Combet outlined A$ 25.5 million in initiatives targeted at Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the sector, as part of an A$ 61 million investment in defense industry skills. He also singled out Raytheon Australia in particular for its SME partnership program.
Government SME initiatives include Australia’s Defense Industry Innovation Centres, an A$ 21 million initiative that will help with local and global benchmarking and firm strategy, and facilitate access to technology innovations elsewhere in the sector. The A$ 2 million engineering Scholarships Program will provide up to 20 scholarships per year for engineering students in relevant areas, beginning in 2010, if they undertake a placement with a Defence SME. The package will also provide financial incentives to the firms that offer these placements.
The final piece is an A$ 2.5 million to make the DMO Institute’s materiel logistics training programs available to the Australian defense industry, as well as the DoD’s acquisition workforce. The DMO Institute is a partnership between Australia’s Defence Materiel Organization and Deakin University.