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Adelaide start-up conference to feature space professionals

Max Blenkin
Adelaide start-up conference to feature space professionals

A stellar line-up of space professionals will be in Adelaide next month to talk space at the SouthStart conference for start-up businesses.

That includes NASA deputy director for technology and research investments, Dr Christyl Johnson, and Kfir Damari, co-founder and vice-president for education for Israeli space company SpaceIL.

On the Australian side will be head of the Adelaide-based Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark, coalition-founder and chief executive of Fleet Space Technologies Flavia Tata Nardini, and Dr Alex Grant, Myriota co-founder and CEO.

SouthStart will be held from 15-21 November in Adelaide and will feature a start-up boot camp, workshops and presentations by a range of executives and entrepreneurs. The main conference will be held on 20 and 21 November in Adelaide Convention Centre.


Following the success of the 2018 event, which was attended by more than 650 people, the South Australian government agreed to contribute $350,000 to the event.

Announcing that funding earlier this year, SA Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said SouthStart had brought fresh ideas and great value to the local innovation eco-system and made a welcome contribution to the state’s economy.

He said state government initiatives were making SA the nation’s start-up epicentre.

“SouthStart complements these initiatives by providing delegates a fantastic opportunity to learn from world-leading business and innovation leaders about their journeys and global trends that will be vital for businesses to survive and thrive in the digital age,” he said.


Dr Johnson and Dr Clark will discuss building Australia’s space industry and share their insights on the partnership between the Australian Space Agency and NASA, which plans to land the next man and first woman on the moon by 2024.

Damari will talk about Israel’s privately funded venture to land a probe on the moon, which failed at the last moment, with the lander crashing into the moon surface.

In particular, he’ll discuss how his start-up rallied Israel behind their goal and what’s planned next.

“Through my personal experience in building the first privately funded spacecraft that reached the moon, I have found that the greatest resource to handle all challenges on our way to reaching our goals, were: resilience, collaborations and perseverance. All of which I am looking forward to sharing and enhancing when we all meet,” he told Adelaide's The Advertiser.

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