CDIC general manager Andrew Garth has detailed his recent attendance at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London that saw Australia represented in unprecedented numbers.
Speaking with Defence Connect, Garth noted that his organisation was active in a global industry.
“Travel is part of the territory and I think many of the businesses that we support are obviously travelling all over the place,” he said.
“I recently returned from the DSEI event in London, where we had the largest ever Australian delegation to actually travel overseas on record.
“We've got 45 businesses that exhibited at the Team Defence Australia Initiative that the CDIC runs on behalf of Defence, with over 115 representatives from state and territory governments, along with, of course, the industry, which is the main reason for being there.
“I think from a personal perspective, I think this was really important for me. From a CDIC perspective, it's really been great to see all the elements coming together. One of the foundational aspects to the CDIC was streamlining and aligning various services to actually support industry.”
Garth, who was involved with the launch of the JSF program just over a decade ago, said he has spent a lot of time overseas selling Australian industry capability.
“It was a bit of a tough sell,” he recalled. “We had some really good elements of industry, but we also had some … big gaps and challenges where two businesses wouldn't present in the same room to a potential customer.”
Garth was much more upbeat about the recent delegation to the London conference.
“What was really nice was actually [that] this time around … we're able to present a really comprehensive and diverse array of Australian industry,” he said.
“I mean, in terms of the capability, we had everyone from various electronics and EW systems, weapon systems, through to the likes of people like Marand providing elements back into the Joint Strike Fighter program, amongst other things.
“So, we had a really diverse capability. And the important thing is, the international delegations of either the OEMs or foreign governments came through, there was just this constant referral, it was kind of catch and don't release until they've seen everyone on the stand, so it was great to see that Australian spirit of working together.”
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