On 19th November 2021, QDSA – ran a ground-breaking event that brought together industry innovators, scientists and researchers from across Australia to hear about the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise from Defence leaders and subject matter experts. Senior Specialist, Defence Research and Program Director of the Australian Program Office for Advanced Hypersonics Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller and Acting Director QDSA Dr Jeremy Anderson co-chaired the event.
The event was graciously hosted by the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) at NIOA’s Brisbane facility. 90 delegates attended the GWEO Industry Information Session in person and a further 180 attendees joined virtually from across Australia and internationally.
The Future is Bright for GWEO Enterprise
The Sovereign GWEO Enterprise could be worth up to $100 billion over the next 20 years1. For an initiative that the Australian Government only launched in March 2021, this is encouraging news.
The joint QDSA/AMC event aimed to create a forum of discussion to build on potential GWEO Enterprise opportunities and advance the emerging Australian-made precision-guided weapons sector.
And we are pleased to report the event was a resounding success!
Expert Guest Speakers from Across the Globe
Bolstered by an impressive line-up of guest speakers, the GWEO Information Session did not disappoint attendees.
Keynote speakers Commodore Nigel Smith RAN, Director-General GWEO Enterprise for Joint Capabilities Group, Brigadier (Ret’d) Alison Creagh, Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor and joining via teleconference from the USA, former US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment the Honorable Ellen Lord, headlined the speaker line-up.
The keynote presentations were followed by a panel discussion featuring subject matter experts :
- Commodore Nigel Smith RAN, Director-General GWEO Enterprise
- Queensland Strategic Defence Advisor Brigadier (Ret’d) Alison Creagh, AM, CSC,
- Former Chief of Defence Science and Technology Group’s Aerospace Division Dr Ken Anderson,
- Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Lee Goddard, CSC.
Major General (Ret’d) Gus McLachlan provided a brief on the mobilisation of the Australian Missile Corporation followed by CEO Black Sky Aerospace Blake Nikolic and DSTG Chair in Future Hypersonic Technologies, Queensland University, Professor Allan Paull who spoke collectively about what it takes to design, build, test and fly rockets.
The speakers provided valuable insight into emerging technical challenges and opportunities for academia and industry.
Australian Industry is Ready to Answer the Call
According to Robert Nioa, CEO of NIOA , “Australia needs a sustainable, resilient defence sector. The Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise aims to strengthen defence manufacturing by creating a capability pipeline that upskills the workforce, builds knowledge and contributes to supply chain resilience”.
Forecasts made during the event predict that GWEO Enterprise could grow to a scale equal to Australia’s military shipbuilding industry, providing wide-ranging employment opportunities for steelmakers, cyber security specialists, aerospace companies, aerial robotics innovators and more.
Australia is home to some of the most talented and sharpest minds on the planet, and this galvanises rapid expansion and advancement of defence and technology capabilities.
With so much innovation and ambition on our doorstep, Australia is poised for a defence capability boom.
Further information about the QDSA/AMC GWEO Enterprise Information Session event and Defence capability opportunities can be found on the AMC website here.
QDSA Plays a Pivotal Role
For an organisation that is still in its infancy, QDSA has proved to be an integral conduit for innovative collaborations and connections across the industry.
The success of the GWEO Enterprise Information Session is just one example of the importance of QDSA’s role.
Dr Jeremy Anderson, Acting Director QDSA, was encouraged by the turnout to the event, and interest continues to grow.
‘’The Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, along with other defence initiatives, are likely to offer significant scope for technology development and advanced manufacturing in Australia,’’ he said.
‘’The QDSA will connect academia, government and industry to harness emerging opportunities that will build on Queensland’s strengths and growing reputation in the defence sector.’’
2022 will see QDSA continue its efforts to connect Small to Medium Enterprises and research institutes with opportunities that will encourage the growth of Australian Defence capability and technology.
Established in 2021, the Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA) is a university-led initiative committed to creating an agile ecosystem that enhances Queensland’s capability pipeline to rapidly translate ideas into reality within the Defence enterprise.
Bringing together the sharpest multi-disciplinary teams across seven leading Queensland Universities, industry partners, government and Defence, the QDSA focuses on sovereign collaboration and innovation to accelerate Defence’s capability edge.