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Aussie space luminary calls for deep tech centre

Jake Nelson

One of the country’s leading STEM educators and space experts has called for the establishment of a national space and deep tech centre to boost Australia’s position in the global space industry.

Dr Scott Sleap, who recently returned from a learning trip to the USA with the Winston Churchill Trust, says that creating a facility in NSW would promote innovation, provide comprehensive education, and facilitate professional development in the sector.

“The centre’s plan includes a broad array of programs aimed at the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors, with an emphasis on retention within the space and deep tech industries,” he said.

“It will span education and training to outreach programs and internship opportunities, all dedicated to supporting the organic growth of a skilled technical workforce, including engineers, technicians, and operators.


“The centre’s collaborative and dynamic environment will not only equip individuals for prosperous careers in space and deep tech but will significantly contribute to these sectors’ advancement in Australia and globally.”

Dr Sleap’s report, available online, collates his findings from visits to government, academic and private sites, including NASA’s Johnson and Kennedy Space Centres, NASA headquarters, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the Smithsonian.

He says his vision for the future of Australia’s space sector includes becoming “a leading force in the space industry, inspiring generations and pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery”.

“I am excited by the boundless opportunities awaiting Australia and our young people in the burgeoning space industry. Our future in space isn’t just about exploration. It’s about cultivating the STEM talents of our youth and equipping them with the skills to pioneer new horizons,” he said.


“This journey brings the promise of not just new jobs, but revolutionary careers that we can’t even imagine today.”

Dr Sleap was the first Technology educator ever to win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Secondary Science Teaching, coordinates the NSW Department of Education’s STEM Industry School Partnerships program, and advises both the NSW Government and the Australian Space Agency.

In February 2022, NSW opened the National Space Industry Hub, which offers tenants access to resources, mentoring and networking opportunities for emerging ventures. Residents include SmartSat CRC, Leolabs and Mawson Rovers.

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