ADM Congress 2021: A renewed commitment to Australian SMEs and sovereign capability

Well attended event gains insight into Defence priorities

Systematiq’s BDM for NSW and ACT, Mandy Middlemist and our Program Director for Land400, Greig Hutton travelled to Canberra last week to mix business with pleasure for the first time in what has been a long wait for events in the Defence industry calendar.

The 2021 ADM Congress was extremely well attended and went off without a hitch, thanks to great planning by Australian Defence Magazine and the Hyatt Canberra, and in particular the event chair, Katherine Ziesing, Managing Editor, Australian Defence Magazine. COVID safe practices were adhered to and while it brought a slightly cautious tone to the event, it was clear that government and industry representatives were all grateful for the opportunity to reconnect in person.

Some speakers had travel restrictions, which meant dialling in via Zoom. However, all presenters delivered informative presentations that gave valuable insight into projects, policies and opportunities in the Defence Industry. Ministerial and Keynote addresses by Melissa Price, Minister for Defence Industry and MAJGEN Simon Stuart, Head of Land Capability, Australian Army were insightful and encouraging of SMEs to engage with the industry to take advantage of programs within the ADF, with insight given into the future planning and direction of long-term initiatives. This was illustrated further by Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist, who presented on next generation technology and Defence Capability innovation.

The event also highlighted how industry has kept Defence projects moving forward despite logistical delays impacting elements of delivery, illustrating Australia’s ability to adapt and pivot to changing environments. All speakers praised the achievements of local SMEs, while lessons learned were shared from industry. A renewed commitment was stated by Primes to engage with local innovators.

Supply chain SMEs contribute to major program delivery

Richard Cho, MD and VP, Hanwha Defence Australia and Gary Stewart, MD, Rheinmetall Defence presented on the new Vehicle Program within Land 400, which highlighted the program of works being undertaken in Australia and what this means for both industry and defence in the long term.

Richard Cho from Hanwha acknowledged the support they have received from their SMEs including Systematiq, and spoke of their ongoing commitment to continue sourcing through their locally established supply chains.

There was also much discussion about ‘sovereign capability’ and what this means to Australian industry and how SMEs can leverage this focus. Andrew Foster, Executive General Manager, Downer Defence Systems unpacked the implications and advantages of Australian Industry Capability as part of delivering defence projects.

J3Seven shares insights into engaging with Primes and OEMs

One of the highlights was the presentation by our client Gareth Molnar, CEO of J3Seven. J3Seven is an Australian SME who provide specialist solutions for chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive (CBRNE) exploitation, working as an integral advisor and supplier to Primes and the CoA. Gareth spoke about the company’s formation and the journey to partnering with major Primes and OEMs both within Australia and internationally. He offered a unique and informative insight into his experience and how J3Seven grew from concept to successful business.

Systematiq’s BDM Mandy commented, “Thank you Gareth for sharing your personal and business journey to success with J3Seven. It was humbling to listen to your experience. We are delighted to be part of that success and to be acknowledged for supporting you along the way.”

Systematiq connects with customers and colleagues

Apart from the formal event agenda, it was a great opportunity to network and discuss opportunities with new clients, and re-acquaint with existing clients such as EOS, Hanwha, UGL, Crisp Brothers / Haywards, DIAS, Team Downer, ISS Facility Services to name a few. We also took the opportunity to meet with new team members working in Canberra that have come on board remotely. We’re looking forward to attending more events throughout the year!