For Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), Business Improvement Adviser Dwayne Kirk, the most exciting part of his job is coaching small Australian companies in strategies for business management, and to then see them pick it up and run with it.
“Supporting those smaller innovative companies to improve their business and commercialise new products is a very rewarding part of the job for me,” Dwayne said.
Dwayne has extensive research and development experience between Universities and industry in Australia and overseas, and has also experienced life as a CEO and company Director specialising in start-up businesses in various sectors including Defence and aerospace.
“I’ve been inside the R&D world for the past 20 years either developing and commercialising it, or implementing the organisational processes and culture to manufacture and deliver it. Now that I have moved across to a Government role, I am confident that my lessons learnt on the commercialisation journey and experience in creating a productive and motivated workplace will be useful to our defence-industry partners.
Based in Melbourne with a proud family history of military service across 4 generations, including six years as a Naval officer himself, Dwayne is particularly interested in maritime technology and innovation for the Navy.
“Most days include keeping up to date with what’s happening with Defence projects and procurement, and engaging with small and medium businesses – by phone, email or face-to-face to help them improve their contribution to a defence supply chain or to bring their products forward to Defence,” Dwayne said.
“My experience is in product commercialisation and management design within companies to help accelerate their goals. The network of CDIC advisers all have different experience, accessible to match what a company may need. Businesses shouldn’t hesitate to contact an adviser. Jump in and come and talk to us!
“I really enjoy the opportunity to bring strategy and capability to companies that have grown a great technical expertise, but are not sure how to make the most out of it. Depending on where the company is at, we can also help with Innovation Hub applications, connect with the right area in Defence to validate what they think they’re going to produce, or create synergies by bringing companies together.
“There’s definitely lots of opportunities. We’re on a deliberate and very long journey of growing Defence industry in Australia, which will multiply several times from what it is now. There is a very broad opportunity to be involved, if companies are serious about their quality, and the work required to be in the Defence space.”