The University of South Australia has been granted $55 million to develop a cooperative research centre for smart satellite technologies and analytics (SmartSat CRC).
Along with this grant, provided by the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, SmartSat CRC’s research and industry partners will also supply about $190 million in cash and in-kind of payments. This will make CRC Research one of the biggest investments in Australia’s space industry and sets up the the agency’s goal of lifting the space industry to $12 billion, generating an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.
The new SmartSat CRC will be headquartered in South Australia and will establish state nodes for the development of smart satellite technologies. This will see all states involved in developing the country’s defence, telecommunications and monitoring technologies.
Bid Leader and SmartSat CEO designate, UniSA’s Professor Andy Koronios, said globally space technologies and industries are worth more than $500 billion.
“Our goal in bringing together the bid for SmartSat was to show the huge potential and capacity there is in Australia to make an impact globally by developing leapfrogging technologies in areas where we have some of the best expertise on the planet – AI, advanced communications and remote sensing analytics,” he said.
"For a nation with a footprint covering nearly 1/10 of the planet, Australia has had very little presence in space; we cannot rely exclusively on the goodwill of other nations or our deep pockets to meet our communications and connectivity needs or to monitor our nation and our resources.”
Among some of SmartSat CRC’s well-known brand partners includes, Airbus; BAE; MDA; Northrop Grumman; Saab; SciSys; Dassault Systems; THALES; Nova Systems; Optus and SHOAL.
Also participating in SmartSat CRC will be Australian startups - X-Lab; Myriota; Fluorosat; Fleet; Innovor; Lyrebird; and Delta-V. Australian universities and research organisations also involved in CRC includes, ANU; UNSW; RMIT; Swinburne; QUT; Curtin; CSIRO; DST; the Universities of Queensland, Adelaide, Western Australia and Western Sydney. International collaborators in the initiative will include, UCL; Catapult; NASA; the European Space Agency; and the National University of Singapore.
Dr Alex Grant, CEO and co-founder of Myriota said securing a $245 million space industry-focused centre is a significant development, not just for UniSA and South Australia, but also for Australia’s growing place in the international space community.
“The SmartSat CRC will support the brilliant minds that make up Australia's industrial and academic research communities to collaboratively develop new technologies that enable new commercial products, addressing real world needs," he said.
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