Although its activities have expanded significantly since its inception, the key focus of the Defence Materials Technology Centre remains on ensuring the defence sector is equipped with the requisite technology to support the Australian Defence Force’s ongoing demand for cutting-edge fighting capabilities.
"We were formed as an independent company to deliver on a specific contract for defence," DMTC chief executive Mark Hodge said. "That contract is now long gone and we have just rolled on and evolved into an ongoing business."
"If we ever lost our relationship with Defence, there'd probably be not much of a reason for us to exist so we continue to focus very strongly on what the Defence Department wanted us to do in the first place," said Hodge, adding that its primary function would always be to connect with defence industry and make sure [it] has access to technology that can support increasingly advanced and complex fighting capabilities.
"When I first started in the role, it was to effectively stand up an organisation from thin air and, to be honest, looking back on it now, it was project managing the delivery of a range of predetermined technology programs," Hodge recalled.
"Now we’ve created a much closer link to the defence customer and [are] understanding the evolving needs of technology, how that can impact on industrial capability and how that can in turn impact on defence capability."
"The evolution of the model had centred around bringing the customer closer into that technology development discussion upfront, to understand how that technology might need to evolve to solve the short-term problems, medium-term but also in a broader strategic context so that you can develop your programs with a longer lifetime,” he added.