Due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, announced on 29 October 2020 additional funding for the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant. 

Updated Grant Opportunity Guidelines will apply for all applications lodged between 12 November 2020 and 30 June 2021.

If you started but didn’t submit a draft application before 12 November 2020, you will need to apply on a new application form.  You can access your draft application until 10 December 2020 to copy data to a new application form.  After 10 December 2020, draft applications will be unavailable.

Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant

Funding for Australian businesses to build industrial capabilities that fit with Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.


What do you get?

A grant of $70,000 to $1.4 million for up to 70% of the cost of a project that builds capabilities aligned with Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities. The maximum grant period is 30 months.

Grant funding is capped at $4.2 million in a 3-year period per recipient.

Who is this for?

Small to medium sized businesses with an Australian business number (ABN). The business must be a company incorporated in Australia or and incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust.

How it works

You need to contribute 30% of the eligible project value.

Project activities can include:

  • buying, leasing, constructing, installing or commissioning of capital equipment including specialist software to enhance cyber security

As they relate to the above activities, this can also include:

  • design, engineering and commissioning activities
  • workforce training and accreditations.

The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are listed in the 2018 Defence industrial capability plan. Defence reviews the priorities periodically and publishes updates on its website.


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible your business must:

  • have fewer than 200 employees
  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be a company incorporated in Australia or be an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust

Also, you must:

  • provide evidence from your Board (or Chief Executive Officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • provide an external accountant declaration form that confirms you can fund your share of the project costs

Who is excluded?

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • a trust (but an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a government body at any level (including government business enterprise)


Before you apply

Read the grant opportunity guidelines and sample grant agreement. The guidelines provide detailed information on the:

  • grant opportunity, including grant objectives
  • eligibility and merit criteria
  • assessment processes
  • reporting and acquittal requirements
  • review mechanisms

How to apply

Complete and submit your grant application through the online portal. If you’re using the portal for the first time you will need to set up an account.

Apply for a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant

Make sure you:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • have evidence that your Board or Chief Executive Officer supports the project and the business can complete it
  • have an external accountant declaration confirming that your business can fund its share of the costs

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Need help?

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  • Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia

Customer story

CDIC Mellori case study


After accessing a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant, Mellori has improved its lab, bought new test equipment and hired new staff to enhance its electronic warfare capability.

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

Fact sheet

Sample application form

Sample grant agreement form

External accountant declaration form