Grants for business events help defence exporter target global clients

9 June 2022

Electro Optic Systems (EOS) is a fast-growing Australian space, defence and communications company based in Canberra. Today, it is one of Australia’s foremost exporters of high technology.

Business grants have helped EOS expand through COVID-19. Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Scott Hicks, credits Austrade Business Events grants for contributing to several of its recent export successes.

Last financial year, EOS exported around $160 million worth of advanced communications equipment and remote weapon systems.

A high-tech Australian space and defence exporter

EOS operates at the forefront of Australia’s high-tech defence and space industries. Its space business is a global leader in the manufacture, delivery and operation of sensors and systems for Space Domain Awareness, space control and satellite communications. The company’s defence business produces remotely operated weapon systems that can be integrated on various vehicle platforms.

In 2021, EOS used a grant to demonstrate its technology at one of Australia’s premier defence shows, Land Forces Australia, in Brisbane.

Scott Hicks says these domestic opportunities were a good substitute for overseas events that the company could not attend due to COVID. They helped exporters meet top-tier multinational defence companies – and the engagement has paid off.

‘We gained a grant worth $166,000 plus GST,’ says Hicks. ‘This enabled us to get to Brisbane and field a stand with strong company branding. It also meant we could physically move some of our products to Brisbane, where we were able to show them off.’

A strong return on investment

Hicks says that attending the event gave a good return on investment.

‘We had very positive outcomes from Land Forces 2021,’ he says. ‘It enabled us to interact with executives from overseas defence companies that have offices in Australia.

‘Being face-to-face makes a big difference because we get the opportunity to show our equipment,’ he adds. ‘For example, we were able to show the effect our directed energy effector has on a target made of armour. That made quite an impact.’

Hicks points out that moving heavy equipment is expensive. But the grant covered approximately 50% of the cost of exhibiting at the Land Forces event.

‘The grant enabled us to have a bigger presence than we otherwise could have had,’ Hicks says. ‘We have a wide variety of technologies, and it enabled us to show more of them.’

EOS is expanding quickly. Since 2017, the company’s headcount has quadrupled to around 550, with roughly 400 employees based in Australia.

More information

The Business Events Grant program supports the recovery of the business events sector and suppliers affected by COVID-19. Affected suppliers include caterers, accommodation, transport providers and event hosting companies.

For more information, please phone 13 28 46 or contact Business Events Grants via email.