Innovation heads to sea

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), LS Sarah Battenally (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Newcastle (F06), HMAS Warramunga (F152), HMAS Hobart (D39)

3D-printed replacement hinges on a compartment locker onboard HMAS Newcastle. (photo: LS Sarah Battenally)
3D-printed replacement hinges on a compartment locker onboard HMAS Newcastle.

In a significant contribution to the Chief of Navy’s ‘Challenge and Innovate’ statement, Deployed Innovation Workshops have been established onboard HMA Ships Hobart, Warramunga and Newcastle.

The workshops are a key component of the Directorate of Navy Continuous Innovation (DNCI) Navy Innovation Framework and deliver innovative and new technology to ships supporting the mission ‘to fight and win at sea’.

Workshops cultivate innovation for personnel to transform ideas into tangible results that are of benefit to the ship and crew. Embarked equipment includes a 3D printer and development kits, Raspberry Pi single-board computer development kits, computer design software and a Traffolyte machine. The equipment enables upskilling in design and rapid prototyping with training and support provided by the Centre for Innovation based at Fleet Base East, Garden Island. 

Unit Innovation Coordinator onboard HMAS Newcastle, Leading Seaman Sarah Battenally said the workshops have been a resounding success. 

‘The capability to transform technology ideas into solutions at sea is a great achievement.

“We have had clever ideas to fix problems including 3D-printed replacement hinges for compartment lockers and simple, yet clever, marker holders for Damage Control boards,” Leading Seaman Battenally said.

Innovation is encouraged on all ships at all levels. Crews are expected to support creativity and take action in developing growth. The provision of the Innovation Workshop provides an opportunity to improve habitability, well-being, and warfighting capability through new ideas, concepts and processes. 

The Centre for Innovation is located at Level 1, Building 67 Fleet Base East and is part of the Directorate of Navy Continuous Innovation: navy.innovation@defence.gov.au.