The Three Pillars of QDSA – Communication, Connection and Collaboration
In late 2021, following significant consultation from QDSA key stakeholders about the direction of the Alliance and how it could best assist Queenslanders and Defence in identifying research and capabilities across Queensland, a strategic planning meeting was held.
The outcome of this meeting was threefold:
- A newly defined Mission Statement
- Identification of Three Key Areas of Focus
- Determination of the Three Pillars of QDSA
Today, we are excited to be able to reveal the details of our Strategic Plan in this article.
You can also download the QDSA 2021-2026 Strategic Plan in its entirety here:
The QDSA Mission Statement and Key Areas of Focus
Our team determined that QDSA will have three specialised key focus areas:
- Defence Requirements
- Research & Development
- Trusted Delivery
Through these key focus areas, QDSA is committed to our Mission which is:
“To grow and connect an agile Defence innovation ecosystem, leveraging Queensland’s strengths, to deliver trusted solutions to meet Defence requirements.”
The QDSA Network
The overarching theme of everything we do here at QDSA is that of our network. We exist to connect universities, industry, innovation hubs and precincts, State and Federal government organisations and Defence to better position Queensland in Defence Science and Technology Innovation and Defence Training, Sustainment and Acquisition Programs.
We do this in conjunction with our seven Alliance universities and industry partners who, with the continued support of State and Federal governments, work collaboratively to drive research and innovation for enhanced Defence capability.
Our seven Alliance universities are:
- CQU – Central Queensland University
- GU – Griffith University
- JCU – James Cook University
- QUT – Queensland University of Technology
- UQ – University of Queensland
- USC – University of Sunshine Coast
- USQ – University of Southern Queensland
QDSA Team – the Hub of the Network
Central to the QDSA Network is the team in the office. It is through us that communications are shared, connections are made and collaborations are realised.
Within the network, the QDSA team ensures that industry and academia are aware of funding and collaborative opportunities when they arise. This ensures that Defence is presented with trusted entities capable of delivering to its requirements and areas of focus.
Via QDSA, researchers and industry partners are connected to opportunities that they may not have been aware of and Defence is connected with providers who are trusted and qualified to fulfil its needs.
This brings us to the “three c’s of QDSA”. Our organisation facilitates its network growth through three key pillars – Communication, Connection and Collaboration.
As for most organisations, communication is key for success. With QDSA this is even more vital; communication is the foundation from which we grow connections and collaborations.
Through clear and active communication, QDSA will increase Queensland participation in Defence
programs and events, continue to build our position as a respected strategic partner for Defence, and promote opportunities across the industry.
We do this by:
- Distributing information and conducting workshops to promote current and upcoming opportunities such as:
- Army, Airforce, Navy, CASG funded programs
- STaR Shots
- Defence Innovation Events, Conferences,Army Innovation Day, Army Robotics Expos etc
- Sustainment, Maintenance, Acquisition, Training events
- Other funding opportunities e.g. TAS DCRC, DSTG, DMTC, ODIS, DIH, etc.
- Running information workshops, Q&A engagement with Defence leaders and advisors
- Advocate the strengths of the Alliance to Defence, Australian Government Organisations, Queensland innovation enterprise, Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN), Alliance members.
The first “pillar” of QDSA is that of connection. But exactly what does “connection” mean to QDSA?
One of the overarching qualities of QDSA is the ability to create and build connections. We aim to increase relationships across the alliance, Defence, Government and Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN) and to build better capability development through coordinated support and funding.
Additionally, we prioritise raising awareness of capability in Queensland through alliance connections internally and externally.
We do this by:
- connecting Alliance members (the capability providers) with Defence users and decision-makers
- facilitating connections to form consortiums, demonstrate capability and better place Queensland to compete for Defence projects
- helping Alliance members to connect to larger funding from other sources such as Defence Innovation Hub (DIH) and providing support pathways for industry through Queensland State Government’s Defence Industry Hubs as well as the Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS)
- facilitating introductions via networking events, co-delivery of events, targeted workshops and training
In a nutshell, QDSA aims to be a conduit that links opportunities to those who would benefit from them in order to grow Defence sovereign capability in Australia.
Collaboration is a key theme for growth. Strategic partnerships and collaborative research often provide solutions and pathways to overcoming obstacles. For QDSA, collaborations provide opportunities for stakeholders to support each other, bolster each others strengths and overcome weaknesses.
QDSA approaches the theme of collaboration by:
- Leading the University Defence Collaboration Coordinators Working Group via:
– monthly meetings
– promoting collaboration opportunities within university network
– coordinating university capability mapping
– facilitating new relationships
– indentifying new opportunities that can be explored
- Providing opportunities for HDR students to showcase research capabilities and access funding through assisting grant submission processes and securing appropriate Defence sponsors.
- Offering collaborative research grant funding for University and Industry partnership that satisfy an existing or emerging Defence capability
- Conducting information awareness sessions and coordinating grant agreement and funding processes
- Identifing and promoting shared opportunities for access to training, simulation, test & evaluation facilities
The Queensland Defence Science Alliance Strategic Plan provides a clearly defined pathway to achieving the goals of our organisation. By upholding the three pillars of QDSA, we aim to never lose focus of our mission to grow and connect an everchanging and agile Defence innovation ecosystem in Queensland and Australia.
QDSA Upcoming Events and Opportunities
QDSA has many upcoming events and opportunities, with more being added each week. Want to find out what is on the horizon? Check out our News section on our website here or subscribe to our e-newsletter here.
The Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA) is a university-led initiative to grow and connect an agile Defence innovation ecosystem, leveraging Queensland’s strengths, to deliver trusted solutions to meet Defence requirements.