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December 2006 Issue
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New centre targets defence communication

The University of Adelaide has established a new industry-focused centre that aims to play a key role in Australia's growing defence sector.

The Centre for Defence Communications and Information Networking (CDCIN) specialises in research, consulting and defence capability, with an emphasis on advanced communications systems.

The centre was launched recently by Defence Materiel Advocate Major General Jim Molan, who was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Multinational Force Headquarters in Iraq during 2004 and 2005.

The launch was held at the National Wine Centre prior to the start of an all-day defence communications symposium. The symposium, DEF.NET 2006, attracted participants nationally from industry, government, military and universities.

The CDCIN builds on the skills of key staff and associates, who have a combined experience of more than 100 years in industry, government and academia throughout the world.

"The need for such a centre became apparent to us earlier this year," said Professor Michael Rumsewicz, the Director of CDCIN.

"Our research and consulting services were increasingly being engaged by key defence players, and the South Australian Government's State Defence Sector Plan called for urgent measures to meet the skills shortage in defence.

"The establishment of the new centre consolidates our core capabilities in modelling and simulation, operational analysis, and network analysis to support the emerging needs of the defence market, and cements us as a serious long-term player in the industry."

Professor Rumsewicz said the new centre was strategically important to the University of Adelaide's closer engagement with the growing defence industry in South Australia. The University's commitment is borne out by an initial investment of $500,000 over the next three years.

DEF.NET 2006 was a one-day symposium on network-centric warfare, defence communications, and R&D. Keynote speakers at the symposium were a 'Who's Who' of Australian defence industry, including:

  • Brigadier David Welch, Director General Integrated Capability Development, Capability Development Group;
  • Graham Eveille, Director General Electronic Systems Integration, Defence Materiel Organisation;
  • Neil Bryans, Deputy Chief Defence Scientist (Information & Weapon Systems), Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO); and
  • Representatives from General Dynamics Systems Australia, Thales Australia, Tenix Defence, BAE Systems and Saab Systems.

The symposium included a lunch-time panel discussion on the 'Challenges of Defence Upskilling'.

DEF.NET 2006 was sponsored by General Dynamics Systems Australia, a major international defence contractor in Australia, CEDISC, a South Australian Government initiative managed by the University of South Australia, and Adelaide Research & Innovation, the commercial development company of the University of Adelaide.

Story by David Ellis and Renee Conley

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