Army set an ambitious vision to Improve the cognitive ability of Army Personnel through the delivery of formal education centred on creativity and non-traditional ways of thinking. This formal education was to be coupled with the delivery of ‘Makerskills’ within the MakerSpace site/facility.
A key focus of this vision is investigating whether the MakerSpace approach to learning and innovation has the potential to develop creative problem-solving skills and build a culture of innovation within Army. This is a vitally important prerequisite for realising the vision of an Army in Motion.
Army engaged QinetiQ Australia in July 2021 to support the development and delivery of a pilot program including technical site supervision, governance, and the coordination of a creativity education program.
QinetiQ have prior experience in developing MakerSpaces such as the Telstra Creator Space at Melbourne University, and experience delivering engineering services to Defence through Defence Science and Technology Group.
For the pilot program MakerSpaces were stood up for evaluation at Army establishments around Australia
- Irwin Barracks, Perth
- Robertson Barracks, Darwin
- Edinburgh Defence Precinct, Adelaide
- Holsworthy Barracks, Sydney
- Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane
- Borneo Barracks, Toowoomba
- Coming Soon: Lavarack Barracks, Townsville
The physical MakerSpaces provided technical and non-technical solders of any rank access to advanced manufacturing technologies which are foundational for developing ‘MakerSkills’. Using the MakerSpace and MakerSkills the program delivered the 3 primary objectives of the pilot program:
- Creativity education - the delivery of formal education centred on creativity and non-traditional ways of thinking, to be coupled with the delivery of ‘Makerskills’ within the MakerSpace site/facility including
- Deakin University Integrated creating thinking and problem solving though a user centered design thinking approach
- AxisAgile Scrum and Agile Development training
- University of South Australia Creative Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
- MakerSpace skills - the delivery of formal training on the use of the MakerSpace tools and equipment.
- Governance framework – establish a governance framework to enable Units and Brigades to safely use the space outside of the formal education content.
Following the success of the pilot program, MakerSpace is now transitioning towards an enduring capability for Army to continue developing creative problem-solving skills and foster a culture of innovation. MakerSpace will continue to deliver creative thinking and innovation training while facilitating a 3 week sprint activity at each MakerSpace location over the next 12 months.
Makerspace now resides under RICO within Future Land Warfare Branch as part of Land Capability Division.
For more information about the research and the MakerSpace program, explore the Land Power Forum articles below:
- Enhancing Army’s intellectual capacity through MakerSpaces
- MakerSpaces in Army: Encouraging innovation through non-linear thinking
- MakerSpaces in Army - a practical application
- Building a Makerspace Facilitation Team
To get in touch with the QinetiQ MakerSpace team please direct all queries to ArmyMaker@QinetiQ.com.au.