Inaugural NIA Conference success sparks planning for next iteration
Australia’s first Navy, Industry and Academia (NIA) conference has been hailed a success by delegates and participants.
Hosted by the Naval Shipbuilding College and held at Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria on May 29 and 30, more than 320 representatives from industry, defence and academia attended the event which was focused on creating innovation workforce development solutions.
The two-day conference was opened by Rear Admiral Peter Quinn RAN, Head Navy Capability and was followed by a range of experts spanning topics including accelerated education, teaching through gamification and best practice integration of technology in learning.
Michael Hardy from Kellogg Brown and Root, who was instrumental in the idea for the conference, said seeing the results of months of planning was very rewarding.
“Short, sharp sessions, delivered by adult learning experts were exactly what the audience needed to expand their view of the ‘art of the possible’,’’ he said.
“In addition, the learning activity on day one had a massive impact, when delegates found that they were actually packing Winter Warmer boxes for the Salvation Army to give to the homeless in Geelong and beyond,” he said.
“Next year’s event will be bigger, with the inclusion of Army and Air Force training practitioners and more from both industry and academia.”
Identifying and maximising the benefits of skilling and training through virtual, augmented and mixed realities emerged as the hot topic at the conference with potential applications ranging from enhancing operation of a 12.7mm deck-mounted machine gun to the use of gamification to maintain degradable skill sets.
Delegates were able to interact with a diverse range of emerging technologies including three dimensional, remotely operated controlled patient sonographing – allowing a hospital-based doctor to manipulate a scanning device on a patient thousands of kilometres away – and cutting-edge helicopter flight simulation.
Naval Shipbuilding College Training Solutions Manager Nick Howie the next iteration of the NIA Conference was already being discussed following the success of the inaugural conference.
“Our goal was to bring together Navy, Academia and Industry in an informative environment which supplied delegates with deep insights into the naval shipbuilding industry, an enjoyable networking atmosphere and left with a greater understanding of the future challenges and planned solutions,’’ he said.
“People had the opportunity to toss around lots of ideas, spearheaded by the great thought leadership that already exists in this area, and form a deeper understanding of the needs of existing and potential stakeholders in relation to the Commonwealth Government’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
“Australia is positioned to lead the world in the integration of new technologies into the next generation fleet of the Royal Australian Navy and this will require a focused, dedicated and skilled civilian workforce.’’