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Nova Systems establishes centre of excellence

written by Charbel Kadib | September 14, 2022

Engineering firm Nova Systems is to spend an initial $2 million to establish a local “centre of excellence”.

The project will act as a central hub to support research, digital technologies, training and ideas for the local workforce.

The plan was unveiled by Nova Systems CEO Jim McDowell at the 2022 SETE Conference in Canberra and aims to facilitate collaboration between Defence, industry and academia to develop an integrated joint force test and evaluation (T&E) and capability assurance.


It’s also hoped the ‘Test and Evaluation Centre of Excellence’ (T&E CoE) will ensure the long-term sustainability of homegrown Australian employees, deliver subject matter experts to the field, and support the acceleration of emerging technologies.

The plan also includes the potential for a “technology incubator”, aimed at fostering a national and international focus on the development of new digital tools and methodologies for capability assurance (assurance technology or Assuretech).

“Nova Systems is proud to be unveiling our plans to open an Australian-first Test and Evaluation Centre of Excellence bringing together the brightest minds, cutting-edge research, training and collaboration to create and sustain a sovereign T&E capability that is operationally critical to our nation’s defence mission,” McDowell said.

“In the face of increasing global uncertainty, new threats, reduced warning time and insecure global supply chains, it’s a significant time in our history to secure our sovereign capabilities.”

McDowell noted the broad application of Nova System’s T&E offering across all warfighting domains.

“Defence is becoming increasingly complex and integrated with a focus on joint-force capability, we need to continually evolve our methods to keep the best capability in the hands of our defence forces,” he added.

“We envision the Nova Systems T&E CoE will lead and develop new and exciting ways of doing things for the benefit of our nation.

It comes after the wider business group’s founder, Jim Whalley, appeared on the Australian Aviation podcast last year and talked about the importance of getting more young people into engineering. You can listen to the episode above.

Whalley subsequently stepped down as chair of the board after more than two decades to become deputy chair.

The switch around meant Julie Cooper is now his replacement, after previously joining the engineering business as a non-executive director in July 2017 and becoming interim group CEO in July last year.

During her career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, she worked with clients in Australia, the UK, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

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