Doing business in the defence industry means working to exacting standards and specifications.

Developing the necessary service offerings, skills, tools, accreditations and partnerships will take time, planning and investment. You may need to:

Advice and grants to build capability

We can help with advice and grants to:

  • assess and improve your business’s capabilities
  • take advantage of development opportunities

Find out how CDIC has helped the Wisely group to become defence ready

Manufacturing steel shaping

Wisely Group is working hard to learn about the Defence market and grow with Defence. The Queensland business hopes to help Defence meet its capability requirements and grow their business at the same time.
Case study: Wisely Group

Get defence-ready


You may need to improve your business capabilities in specific areas to meet Defence’s requirements. While there’s no standard definition of ‘defence-ready’, your company may need:

  • a history of supply performance (on schedule, on budget and to specification)
  • a broad customer base, which demonstrates supply capacity
  • a broad supplier base to ensure supply continuity
  • an appropriate quality assurance program (such as ISO9001 certification)
  • ownership of intellectual property or authorised re-seller rights with authority to offer original equipment manufacturer (OEM) warranty
  • compliance with security requirements, including cyber security
  • compliance with relevant legislation and codes of conduct
  • Australian and international certifications and accreditations

At a minimum you must have an Australian business number (ABN).

Assess and improve your business


It’s important to assess the alignment between your business’s capabilities and Defence procurement priorities. This will help you work out where to focus your business development effort.

You will need to understand Defence capability requirements and the types of Defence procurements to work out where your products and services fit so that you can find the right opportunity for your business.

We can help you assess your business’s capabilities and identify development opportunities in the defence industry.

Our free advisory services  provide assistance to small businesses to:

  • navigate the defence market
  • improve business capability
  • participate in local and international supply chains
  • innovate for the defence market
  • identify export opportunities

You can also apply for business grants:

  • Capability Improvement Grants provide up to $250,000 in matched funding to engage a consultant or expert to help you with things like business strategies, quality assurance, risk management, mentoring and coaching, skilling, and training for your existing workers.
  • Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants provide up to $1 million in matched funding to invest in projects that build capabilities aligned with certain Defence priorities.
  • Defence Global Competitiveness Grants provide up to $150,000 in matched funding to help you invest in projects that address barriers to exporting and build your defence export capability.

Tendering and differentiation


Defence generally expects products to work first time, every time, and to specification. This is a prerequisite, not a point of difference. The key discriminators are ‘lighter, quicker, stronger’.

Defence requests for tender are published on AusTender. Each request for tender includes a point of contact for questions about the tender.

If you need help preparing tenders, there are private sector consultants who offer this service – your industry association can help you find one. As a government agency the CDIC can’t help you with developing tenders.