Defence Connect discusses innovation with next-gen leaders

Defence Connect discusses innovation with next-gen leaders

10 October 2019

Momentum Media’s business intelligence and information platform for the defence sector Defence Connect is committed to supporting national security and sharing insights that underpin a stronger, more prosperous Australia.

A Defence Connect panel brought together experts from industry, the Department of Defence and academia to discuss the importance of innovation and its role in supporting capability delivery.

Deputy editor of Defence Connect Steve Kuper recently hosted an expert panel at the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (DEFAus) in Canberra, an opportunity to support the aims and objectives of Defence Connect.

The forum, which took place at the Australian War College, was designed to support out-of-the-box thinking in defence and encourage relationships between industry and academia.

In particular, it aimed to promote open, honest, robust dialogue around the changing character of warfare to open thinking to new concepts and capabilities.

Recognising the significance of the program, Defence Connect’s panel, hosted by Kuper, brought together experts from industry, the Department of Defence and academia to discuss the importance of innovation and its role in supporting capability delivery.

Kuper was joined by David McKenna (lecturer, Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra), Krishna Oruganti (technology and engineering manager at Australian advanced manufacturer Quickstep) and Lieutenant Colonel Jasmin Diab (Australian Army).

“It was important to bring together a panel of subject matter experts, with real world experience, who could speak with authority to the next generation of defence leaders,” Kuper explained.

Each year, DEFAus hosts a forum focused on junior leader ideas. The 2019 iteration represents the fourth year the forum has been held in Australia.

“For Defence Connect, participating in the panel conversation allowed us to build on relationships with industry and help break down barriers for dialogue,” Kuper said.

Throughout the panel conversation, Mr McKenna, Mr Oruganti and LTCOL Diab discussed the appetite for innovation and how to overcome the traditional barriers faced when engaging with the Defence Department.

Building on this, the panel responded to a range of questions from the community and online, ranging from how industry start-ups can better collaborate with the Defence Department (and maintain the commercial opportunities) to how the department can work more collaboratively with industry.

The start-up culture and agility provided by SMEs also figured strongly, with opportunities for the Defence Department a key focal point reinforced by each panellist.

“Part of Defence Connect’s goal is to ensure that industry and Defence are better informed to help forge collaborative relationships and dialogue in a hospitable environment – DEFAus helped deliver that,” he said.

You can find Defence Connect’s full panel conversation at DEFAus19 here.