French-Australian venture to build SA’s shipbuilding workforce

South Australia’s naval shipbuilding workforce is set to benefit from a new joint venture.

The heads of the companies have formally agreed to work together on establishing an Adelaide presence, which will create local jobs and build a skilled workforce ahead of upcoming major naval shipbuilding projects.

As part of the agreement, Ingeliance Technologies and Memko will introduce programs aimed at supporting the transfer of vital information technology, while training students and local workers in a range of engineering, technical, production and maintenance roles.

Ingeliance Technologies Business Development Executive Philippe Storez said the company, which specialises in naval shipbuilding, aeronautics, energy and transport, is hoping to work with major naval customers to enhance Australia’s sovereign capability through its partnership with Memko.

“The idea is to create job opportunities for Australians, especially on the Future Frigate, Offshore Patrol Vessel and Submarine programs, which are based on Australian sovereignty – we aim to set up an efficient naval oriented engineering team which will be trained and supported by one or two of our French experts,” he said.

“We want to support Naval Group in South Australia as have for more than 20 years in France, by finding a trusted local partner in Australia in order to develop business opportunities for Australians in the Australian naval sector. This partner must share the same values that we have, such as the respect that we have for our customers (customer first), excellence and agility.

“Memko has the local knowledge of how Australia’s industry works, and will bring us complementary activities in IT and software that could be implemented and customized for naval sector engineering activities.”

Mr Storez said the company is also looking to introduce a student internship program with South Australia and Ingeliance Technologies in France, as part of the joint venture.

“We are committed to developing the sovereign capabilities in Australia through the transfer of know-how and technologies,” he said.

Miro Miletic, Managing Director of Memko, which already has a strong customer-based in South Australia, said the partnership was a natural fit, with benefits beyond just creating jobs in Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry.

“A joint venture approach, like in our case, provides a joint long-term benefit, rather than setting up a subsidiary to just participate in a project, so when that project is finished the company moves on and there’s nothing left,” he said.

“The ultimate goal is to build up the country’s capability, to export and support other markets. These are the type of partnerships that should be the benchmark for Australian industry to grow.”

Defence SA will continue to support Ingeliance Technologies and Memko as they establish a new joint venture in South Australia.