News Feature - SA-based Nova Group’s Two Decades of Flying High
Apr 7, 2020
An Adelaide company with global defence customers is eyeing $200 million in revenues this financial year, as it marks a key milestone.
A focus on providing specialist complex engineering services globally has helped Adelaide-based Nova Group grow from two founders to 600 employees in two decades.
While the 20-year milestone this year comes with new COVID-19-related challenges, the business, which is projecting more than $200 million in 2019/2020 revenues, has taken time to take pride in the growth and innovation over that period.
“What has impressed me throughout my 17 years at Nova, has been the incredibly smart and dedicated people that make it fun to come to work,” said group chief executive Greg Hume.
From its early days of offering flight testing services, the company founded by SA chief entrepreneur Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff, today works to solve complex problems for the Australian Defence Force, the UK Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, among other clients.
More than $20 million has been invested on eight acquisitions to expand into the UK, Europe, South East Asia and New Zealand.
In Australia, Nova Group is one of four companies in the ADF’s Major Service Provider (MSP) consortium, providing large integrated support contracts to defence over the next ten years.
It has founding partnerships with SA-based SMARTSAT Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) and WA’s Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE).
“With a solid foundation in the defence markets in Australia and the UK, and a footprint in space, transport and energy, I am very proud to be exporting Australian capability and know-how to the world and look forward positioning for our next phase of growth,” Mr Whalley said.
“I truly believe it’s the scientists, mathematicians and engineers of the world that will be instrumental in solving the really complex challenges nations and governments are facing like national security, climate change and urbanisation,” he said.
In a world dominated by economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the business is committed to sustaining business operations while being proactive and undertaking business modelling against a number of scenarios.
“Infection control measures have already been implemented across the business which include the cancellation of a number of training courses and internal business and social gatherings through to April,” Mr Hume said.
“We continue to monitor the situation and will introduce additional measures as required to protect our employees and clients.”
At this stage, 20-year celebrations are set to coincide with its all-staff annual conference in August where Nova’s employees will dress up in safari suits and kaftans to mark the occasion.
AUS PROJECTS LIST
Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD)
Over the last 12 years, more than 60 Nova engineering, project management and operational consultants have contributed to the AWD Program in the areas of test and activation.
SEA 1000 Future Submarines
Over 25 Nova consultants have contributed to the future submarine program supporting naval architecture, systems engineering, seaworthiness, configuration management, asset management, etc.
Nova has been associated with the P8 program over the past 4-5 years, providing a number of services.
Nova’s owned and operated site(s) provide ground segment services to satellite owners and operators. The satellite ground segment facilities will be strategically located around Australia to meet the needs of current and future Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) small satellite missions. A first site has been identified at Peterborough in SA.
Adelaide Desalination Plant
About 30 Nova employees have provided project management and contract over five years.
Nova has provided Test and Evaluation services in support of the Wedgetail E-7A since January 2011.
Nova was an integral part of accepting all C-17 aircraft into service during the various acquisitions.
Nova continues to support Lockheed Martin for the delivery of the Pilot Training Systems (PTS). This includes certification of the PC-21 aircraft, qualification of the synthetic training devices, and verification & validation of the overall PTS.
Air Traffic Control
Nova has been an integral part of Hensoldt’s delivery of AIR5431 Ph2, providing both the in-country team and facilities for the Hensoldt PMO, and delivering the tower and civil works at nine sites around Australia.
Nova has supported the verification and validation portion of the F-35A introduction into service, through designing the Australian Effectiveness Test Program, and assisting in enabling the Suitability Test Program.
Land 121 Phase 4
The Nova team has assisted Thales with the vehicle verification and validation (V&V) program across various phases of Land 121 Phase 4.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 (Active project)
About 13 Nova staff have been providing systems integration, systems assurance and safety assurance for current design phase since February last year.
Newcrest Mining Autonomous Systems
Strategic advice and engineering services for the vision, technology road map and implementation for targeted world-first autonomous underground gold mining.
Valerina Changarathil, The Advertiser, April 7, 2020 12:00am
News Feature: Nova Group Celebrates 20 Years of Business
Mar 27, 2020
Australian owned and operated Nova Group celebrates 20 years in business this year. The company has grown from the original two founding partners to 600 employees and services customers such as the Australian Defence Force, the UK Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Founded in 2000, Nova Group specialises in the provision of technology-enabled solutions and world-class expertise, to solve problems within defence and aerospace, government and critical infrastructure industries.
Headquartered in South Australia, co-founders Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff have expanded the focus of Nova from the early days of offering flight-testing services to a global company solving complex engineering problems across a range of sectors including defence, space, geospatial, transport, energy and resources.
“With a solid foundation in the defence markets in Australia and the UK, and a footprint in space, transport and energy, I am very proud to be exporting Australian capability and know-how to the world and look forward [to] positioning for our next phase of growth,” said Whalley.
“I truly believe it’s the scientists, mathematicians and engineers of the world that will be instrumental in solving the really complex challenges nations and governments are facing like national security, climate change and urbanisation.
“Pete and I are really proud to have created and be a part of a company that takes on those challenges and provides smart people to clients who continue to have a positive impact across the world.”
The group projects over $200 million in 2019-20 revenue and has a strong, entrepreneurial culture reflecting the innovation and creativity of thought, which started with Whalley and Nikoloff’s original vision in 2000.
Solving complex challenges within the defence sector remains a key focus for the firm within Australia, with its recent award as one of four industry leads in the major service provider (MSP) consortium, providing large integrated support contracts to Defence over the next 10 years.
Having pursued a strategy to diversify and globalise, Nova Group has invested more than $20 million on eight acquisitions across the globe and cemented a footprint across multiple geographies including the UK, Europe, south-east Asia and New Zealand.
Long-term Nova employee and chief executive Greg Hume commented on the company’s passion and commitment to its people.
“What has impressed me throughout my 17 years at Nova, has been the incredibly smart and dedicated people that make it fun to come to work, which is why we have consistently been recognised as one of the ‘Top 50 best places to work’,” said Hume.
“The other differentiator that really sets us apart in the market, is Nova’s continued commitment and investment in its people – to foster a culture of continual learning in every single Nova employee and embed an entrepreneurial spirit which forms such an integral part of Nova’s foundation.”
Nova Group has received multiple listings among the Business Review Weekly’s Great Places to Work and The Australian Financial Review Boss’ Most Innovative Company, competing against industry giants such as Deliotte and Accenture.
Some of the major current projects Nova is working on include the work within the AWD and Wedgetail E-7A programs.
Over the last 12 years as part of the AWD program, more than 60 Nova engineering, project management and operational consultants have contributed to the AWD Program in the areas of test and activation, including harbour and sea trials, communications, combat systems engineering, program/project management, risk management, electronic warfare, sonar engineering and operational support, system safety and hazardous materials, operational and business support.
Nova has also provided test and evaluation services in support of the Wedgetail E-7A since January 2011. This has included the capability assessment necessary to support both IOC and FOC declarations, and ongoing capability upgrades.
Original article can be viewed here.
News Feature: Nova Group Makes Space For Growth Plan
Mar 24, 2020
Global defence company Nova Group is maintaining its projections of over $200 million revenue this financial year with longer-term goals to continue expanding its global reach. A newer focus on space is continuing to diversify the portfolio of the South Australian headquartered company that has invested more than $20 million on eight acquisitions across the globe to cement its footprint.
In South Australia, the company’s new Nova IGS Network is providing space ground connectivity for small satellite operators with the site now being used by international clients including Tyvak USA and RBC USA. Nova is also in talks with an Italian-based space company wanting to expand its presence in Australia.
Based on a 21 hectare site in Peterborough in South Australia’s mid north, the site is used to track low earth orbit satellites through customer’s own terminals and Nova has plans to attract further European companies over upcoming years. “Nova is also planning to utilise the site as a ground station test bed for emerging Space 2.0 technologies and support future defence projects,” a spokesman said. “Peterborough provides the vital ground segment element in order to allow satellite operators to downlink/download their data.”
Nova Group is marking 20 years in business, with Nova Systems founded by Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff and originally offering flight-testing services in South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide. It has since grown to having 600 employees working on projects around the world including with the Australian Defence Force, United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force. “With a solid foundation in the defence markets in Australia and the UK, and a footprint in space, transport and energy, I am very proud to be exporting Australian capability and know-how to the world and look forward to positioning to our next growth phase,” Whalley said. Nova was recently awarded one of four industry leads in the Major Service Provider consortium providing integrated support contracts to the Australia Defence Force over the next 10 years.
The company has taken early steps globally to adopt new practices around COVID-19 in relation to infection control and is proactively undertaking business modelling to assess its potential financial impact. At this stage, it still expected to grow in the upcoming financial year, with work continuing on the offshore patrol vessels in Australia and Nova Systems recently winning a $25.9 million Norwegian defence contract to support a maritime helicopter program.
The Adelaide headquartered company first opened an office in the United Kingdom during 2012 before winning its first work within Norway the following year. Its latest contract marks a significant expansion for Nova Norway and a doubling in the size of it Norwegian operations with work already underway. “This win reinforces our commitment to defence and security, not only within Australia, but to other defence customers in the international market,” Nova Group chief executive Greg Hume said.
Nova has also cemented co-founder partnerships this year with the SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre in South Australia and Western Australian based Remote operations for Space and Earth. Plans to establish the now operating SmartSat CRC were led by The University of South Australia and Nova Systems. Based next to the Australian Space Agency at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide, the SmartSat CRC now has 74 participants contributing $167 million adding to the federal government’s $55 million spend with a focus on advanced satellite communications, connectivity and earth observation.
Whalley also has been appointed to the inaugural role of South Australia’s chief entrepreneur. “I truly believe it’s the scientists, mathematicians and engineers of the world that will be instrumental in solving the really complex challenges nations and governments are facing like national security, climate change and urbanization,” he said.
Original article can be viewed here.
NOVA GROUP’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Mar 20, 2020
COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and Nova Group has taken considered actions to protect our people from the evolving global situation of the spread of COVID-19. As a people-based business, the health and well being of our people, their families, our clients and our community is Nova Group’s first priority.
Across our offices globally, Nova Group has adopted official government alerts and guidance regarding travel, self- isolation and business continuity practices and taken additional steps to minimise the potential impact.
Within Australia and New Zealand specifically, our response is ahead of the national Government guidance, and has been implemented to ensure our business remains at the forefront of this complex situation. As an Australian sovereign company Nova’s commitment to sustaining business operations is key to the resilience of our client network and employment community.
Nova Group has implemented additional measures in alignment with Government guidance include:
- Suspension of all travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Northern Italy and South Korea
- Suspension of Nova domestic travel between office locations
- Immediate isolation of staff exposed to suspected close contact
- Mandatory 14-day self-isolation for any staff returning home from abroad
- Reduced staffing of Nova offices for essential services, or staffed on a controlled roster basis, enabling in-office social distancing
- Implementation of Work-From-Home measures
- Suspension of employer-initiated social or non-work-related gatherings in affected locations or region
- Limitation of Nova face-to-face meetings at Nova sites to <6 persons
- Nova site visitor screening and control measures