Challenge to innovate arrives in Sydney

This article has photo gallery Published on Miss Sophie Pearse (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): Training, Strategy, Science, Technology & Innovation

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN (right), with Don Moloney at the Official Opening of the Fleet Base East Centre for Innovation. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN (right), with Don Moloney at the Official Opening of the Fleet Base East Centre for Innovation.

Sydney’s Fleet Base East is now home to Navy’s very own innovation hub.

A collaborative project between the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Navy and industry, the Centre for Innovation was officially opened by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett and will provide key skills in innovative and emerging areas to Navy.

Following a comprehensive tour during the opening, project leader Don Moloney said the centre will foster a culture of innovation through encouraging the Naval community in the region to come forward with their ideas.

“Together with Navy, BAE Systems Australia, and Thales Australia, we’ve created a space where the workforce will feel empowered and inspired, providing an opportunity for the Naval community to brainstorm, develop and prototype ideas, turning them into practical solutions,” Mr Moloney said.

“The Centre includes introductions to computer-aided design, 3D printing, machine learning, 2D and graphic design, virtual reality and visualisation, coding, and electronics.

“We encourage people to come in and tinker, experiment; it’s a safe space to iterate ideas without fear of failure.

“We’re eager to see a great number of ideas coming into the centre with the right people championing those ideas, turning them into practical solutions.

“Once participants have a business case or prototype we’ll help them present their value proposition to relevant stakeholders, work units, or even investors.

“We aim to provide mentorship to our participants and even help secure additional resources like time off duties or financial assistance if required,” he said.

An initiative of the Guided Missile Frigate Enterprise, Mr Moloney said the project began roughly 12 months ago and was created on the basis of Chief of Navy’s Challenge and Innovate statement.

“Motivated by the leadership of the Director of Guided Missile Frigate Enterprise’s Captain Greg Laxton and the culture he’s inspired, this initiative is sponsored by Navy and supported by our enterprise partners,” he said.

“The Innovation Centre is yet another remarkable example of collaboration across Defence and industry working together towards a shared goal,” Mr Moloney said.

The Centre for Innovation provides a unique pathway for subject matter experts to open up a conversation with the Navy community.

“We’ve got some great tools here and we’re really excited to see how the community can make the best use of them,” he said.