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Space Industry Hub strikes Japan deal

The company behind the National Space Industry Hub has signed a deal to work with a similar initiative in Japan.

The MoU between local organisation Cicada Innovations and Cross-U will facilitate collaboration between members of each organisation, allowing them to access each other’s physical spaces.

Opening last year, the National Space Industry Hub in Eveleigh, Sydney, is an incubator providing a co-working space and access to mentoring, resources, and networking opportunities.

The deal has already allowed two people to travel to Tokyo to attend the Nihonbashi Space Week 2023, organised by Cross-U.


Katie Knight, the chief executive of Investment NSW, a backer of the Industry Hub, said: “By collaborating globally, companies are able to gain access to a wealth of resources, including advanced technologies, robust supply chains, and a more diverse customer base.”

The National Space Industry Hub said it has supported more than 200 space entrepreneurs and 25 start-ups since its launch and its members include Leolabs, Mawson Rovers, and the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre. Cross-U, meanwhile, has a membership that includes Toyota, Fujifilm, and Mitsubishi.

The new agreement significantly followed similar deals between the National Space Industry Hub and French aerospace hub Aerospace Valley and the Indian aerospace incubator mach33.aero.

It also came with an increasing focus on space collaboration between friendly nations.


In October, for example, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed off on a landmark deal in Washington that will allow more US satellites and rockets to blast off from Australian launch sites.

The two countries had been negotiating the “Technology Safeguards Agreement” since October 2021 and confirmation followed an in-principal understanding reached in May.

Currently, launching US spacecraft in Australia is difficult, given concerns about protecting sensitive US technology. However, the TSA will remove many of the barriers faced by firms in both countries.

PM Albanese signed the deal in Washington with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, but it still requires ratification by the Australian Parliament.

“Once it enters into force, American companies will be able to complete space launches from Australia while keeping their technology secure and adhering to our international nonproliferation commitments,” said Blinken.

“In Australia, American companies will have access to more high-quality launch sites so that they can increase the frequency of their operations.

“They’ll be closer to the equator, where the Earth spins the fastest, so their rockets get an extra boost and use less fuel. And, of course, Americans will gain some brilliant Australian colleagues.

“By opening new doors for the private sector, we’ll grow investment between our countries and help create good-paying jobs in both countries.

“And we’ll also help provide more opportunities for American and Australian firms to continue innovating and innovating together.

“Whether they’re using satellites to make GPS navigation more accurate or developing spacecraft to study the universe, these companies will help shape the future for our people, and for our planet, for decades to come.”

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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