Australia steps up fight against cyber threats with new small business grant program

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Defence has launched a new industry support program aimed at recruiting small businesses to join the fight against cyber threats.

The Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA) – which is being funded through Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund – will offer support of up to $300,000 per proposal for projects for up to 18 months.

In making the announcement, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the new scheme will provide $36 million over six years, providing Australian small businesses with ‘significant opportunities’ to develop ambitious, game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.

“Australia’s strategic context is changing significantly and our defence strategy is responding to these changes,” Minister Price said.

“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.

“Which is why I welcome that the first focus of the ICERA initiative is targeting on cyber defence and cyber security.”

According to the Minister, 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.

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