Innovation and good industry policy have always been essential foundations of a strong, sustainable defence industry. Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper, Defence Industry Policy Statement (DIPS) and Defence Integrated Investment Program (DIIP) acknowledge the importance of the nation’s defence industry to Australian defence policy. When these documents were published in early-2016 Industry became a ‘Fundamental Input to Capability’, or FIC.
They also acknowledge the importance of Defence R&D and innovation. The Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) was created to implement a new policy framework that encourages and rewards innovation by industry and academia, along with the Defence Science and Technology Group, or DST.
Rumour Control was set up by Dr Gregor Ferguson, a defence industry and innovation analyst and consultant, to make a useful contribution in this new and welcoming defence business environment.
Gregor writes: I write, I teach, I advise and I run two programs designed to encourage and reward defence, aerospace and maritime industry innovators in both industry and the research and academic communities.
I did my doctoral research on defence innovation at the University of Adelaide’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre, or ECIC. My thesis was titled “Product Innovation Success in the Australian Defence Industry – an Exploratory Study”. It focused on the factors which enable or prevent product innovation success in the Australian defence industry. This is an area of expertise to which I add more than 25 years’ knowledge of defence acquisition, defence R&D and defence industry in Australia.
View my CV here (PDF): Gregor Ferguson CV
For part of my working week I am the Executive Manager, Industry Development, for the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia Limited (AMDA), the not-for-profit foundation responsible for organizing the Australian International Air Show and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at Avalon, Victoria, the Pacific International Maritime and Defence Exposition in Sydney, the Land Forces Exposition in Adelaide and Brisbane and the recently launched CIVSEC civil security congress and exposition which is held in Melbourne.
And I’m the former Editor of Australian Defence Magazine, Australia’s leading monthly defence and industry title, which is published by Yaffa Media, Sydney.
“Why did I choose the name Rumour Control? It’s a hangover from my earlier life as a reservist in the British Army. Any headquarters is supposed to be able to tell you what’s going on and what will happen next. In practice, as most old soldiers will acknowledge, this isn’t always the case – in fact, you can sometimes safely ignore whatever your superiors tell you. For that reason almost every headquarters organisation, from rifle company to Cabinet Office, ends up at some point being referred to despairingly by its subordinates as ‘Rumour Control’. Having served as a platoon rifleman, in a battalion headquarters, and for more than 30 years as a journalist I can vouch for the felicity of the expression. And it applies equally well in the corporate world as well…
“The title ‘Rumour Control’ is my affectionate, tongue-in-cheek tribute to both the defence community and my colleagues in the media. It’s also a bit of a poke at the mainly mainstream media proprietors who are dumbing down journalism in pursuit of cheap headlines and click bait, as well as at demagogues who throw around wild allegations about ‘Fake News’ and try to present lies, ignorance and mendacity as ‘Alternate Facts’. Rigorous journalism, based on facts and hard work, is the best counter to rumours, errors and outright lies.
“Don’t hesitate to send in requests or suggestions for enhancing the value or functionality of the site. ‘Rumour Control’ is open to comment and constructive criticism.”
Dr Gregor Ferguson, Ph.D, BA (Hons), MRAeS