Uni to help navy retain corporate knowledge

Wednesday, 09 July, 2008

Commodore Steve Gilmore of Navy Systems Command and Professor Lee Astheimer of the University of Wollongong have jointly committed to a vital $240,000 project to determine effective ways to retain specialised corporate knowledge when longstanding employees retire.

Signing the contract at the Australian Research Council offices in Canberra, Commodore Gilmore said the outcomes of the knowledge management project undertaken by the university will be directly applied to Navy’s maritime engineering community.

“Like many Australian organisations, Navy’s maritime engineering community has longstanding personnel approaching retirement age who have specialised corporate knowledge amassed over many years,” Commodore Gilmore said. “This project will provide the methodology to ensure effective transfer of this valuable corporate knowledge. It will contribute to maintaining the nation’s security through the sustainment of Navy’s military and naval engineering capability.

“Another benefit will be the accelerated knowledge growth and enhanced future career prospects of our newer civilian and military maritime engineering personnel,” Commodore Gilmore said.

Prof Astheimer, who is the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Wollongong, said the research had major implications for all Australian organisations.

“Managing specialised corporate knowledge is critical to an organisation’s operational effectiveness. Knowledge loss represents the most significant business risk in the 21st century. Organisations face the very real threat of substantial knowledge resources walking out the door en masse, due to increasing retirements and employee turnover. This project will maximise retention of irreplaceable knowledge by capturing and sharing valuable corporate knowledge before it can leave the organisation,” Professor Astheimer said.

Australian Research Council (ARC) chief executive officer Prof Margaret Sheil congratulated the Navy for recognising the importance of collaborative research to Australia’s ongoing prosperity.

“The outcomes achieved and the relationships developed through ARC Linkage schemes help to strengthen our national innovation system and solve real-world problems,” Prof Sheil said. “The results of this project will benefit the Navy, but they will also benefit the wider community because the knowledge gained by the University of Wollongong researchers will have wider applications. In addition, the project will provide expert training to a talented postgraduate research student.”

The ARC is providing $180,000 to the project over three years.


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