Australian small businesses receive export capability boost

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310
Steve Kuper (Minister Price’s office): +61 421 668 874
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1 June 2021

The Morrison Government’s continued support for Australia’s defence industry has been underlined by the awarding of $837,000 in grants to six Australian small businesses to boost their competitiveness on the world stage.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price today announced that Laserdyne, Heat Treatment, Acacia Systems, Intellidesign, UNEEK and SMETEC Services would each receive funding to invest in building their defence export capabilities.

The companies are the latest recipients of Defence Global Competitiveness Grants, a critical program designed to build a stronger and more globally competitive Australian defence industry.

They have each benefitted from changes to the program, unveiled by Minister Price in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn last October, which increased the grants’ value and reduced the co-contribution rate for companies.

“Supporting the export capability of Australian small-to-medium enterprises strengthens their international competitiveness and drives innovation,” Minister Price said.

“It allows them to provide cutting-edge and cost-effective capabilities to the Australian Defence Force.

“By investing in Australian businesses, the Morrison Government is delivering on its promise to generate jobs for Australians as a vital part of our economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Metal engineering business UNEEK, based in Dandenong South in Victoria, will receive $216,389 to upgrade its manufacturing capability, preparing it to join international supply chains for the F-35 Program and bring more production onshore.

Also part of the F-35 Program, Heat Treatment, south of Brisbane, will receive a $131,447 grant to establish a cleaning and assembly facility for the aircraft’s components, adding a vital in-house capacity to improve the company’s global offering.

SMETEC Services will use its $208,332 grant to establish an advanced manufacturing facility to process specialised Australian armoured steels and composite products, opening up opportunities in national and international defence supply chains.

Laserdyne, a small business located in Molendinar near the Gold Coast, will receive a grant worth $180,125 to expand manufacturing operations, reducing lead times to meet increasing global demand.

Grants of $40,944 and $59,908 respectively will assist Acacia Systems (Hendon, South Australia) and Intellidesign (Seventeen Mile Rocks, Queensland) to upgrade their security systems, allowing the businesses to pursue export opportunities with global primes and overseas defence forces.

Companies can apply for a Defence Global Competitiveness Grant at any time through


Grant Amount (excl. GST)

Grant Funding Purpose


UNEEK Bending Co


Purchase and installation of equipment to meet the manufacturing requirements of major global supply chains.


SMETEC Services


Establishment of an advanced manufacturing facility for processing specialised Australian armoured steels and composite products.


Heat Treatment


Construction of a cleaning and assembly facility for vacuum brazed chassis for the manufacture of cold plates for the F-35 Program.


Acacia Systems


Acquisition of a Zone 3 Security Infrastructure Accreditation.




Purchase and installation of equipment to increase production output.




Upgrade of the company’s cyber and physical security certification.


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