Australian Industry & Defence Network – SME Policy Position Release 2017


The Australian Industry & Defence Network Incorporated (AIDN) is the peak industry association for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) wishing to do business in the defence and security sectors. Established in 1995, AIDN represents the interests of Australian SMEs in these industry sectors through advocacy, representation and member services.

AIDN is made up of State and Territory Chapters with a combined membership of around 750 principally SME companies. Its chapter structures are optimised to reflect the nature of the defence and security industries in each State and Territory, which ensures that its national direction is informed by a full range of industry views.

AIDN National President Alan Rankins stated in the foreword “AIDN has a vital interest in industry policies that promote the interests of SMEs……… In this regard AIDN stands ready to assist the implementation of the Defence and Industry Policy Statement (DIPS) wherever it can and looks forward to a strong partnership with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC).

With this in mind, AIDN is formulating a comprehensive set of policies and is now publishing these in its various releases of the AIDN SME Policy Position.

For AIDN, two vital policy areas in the DIPS are:

– Sovereign Industrial Capability (SIC) and the related Sovereign Industrial Capability Assessment Framework (SICAF), and

– Innovation”

This edition of AIDN’s comprehensive Defence and National Security SME Policy Position proposes a strategically formulated set of key objectives to be used in Defence projects to recognise industry as a FIC and support other policies contained in the DIPS.

AIDN is ideally placed to assist Government in the formulation and development of the SICAF and with the CDIC and is providing ongoing assistance to Defence in SICAF development proposing a Framework that includes a 3-Horizon approach within Capability Streams and has provision for SME Set-asides where it would be advantageous to do so.

AIDN also has a role in Innovation policy and implementation. It sees that both policy objectives will require a longer-term strategic approach to reach full maturity.

In the shorter term, AIDN considers that the recognition of industry as a Fundamental Input to Capability (FIC requires a reconsideration of the way industry capability is viewed in Defence projects. Consequently, this edition of our SME Policy Position looks at range of objectives to support industry’s status as a FIC.

AIDN members will receive access to the SME Policy Position via our AIDN extranet. A copy of the SME policy position is attached to this release. The public will gain access to the policy position via the AIDN website in due course.

It is vital that Defence and Industry achieve and maintain the step change in Defence approach required to ensure “Industry as a FIC” becomes a reality and sustainable, particularly for SMEs. AIDN will continue to be at the forefront of that effort.