South Australia has cemented its position as Australia’s space state, hosting its seventh forum to promote Australia’s booming space sector.
Premier Steven Marshal wasn’t around for the event – he’s in the US to promote the SA defence and space industries at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Washington.
In remarks on the forum program, he said SA and Australia had made great strides in the space sector since the last Space Forum six months ago.
South Australia was chosen as the home for the Australian Space Agency headquarters, testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem developing at the new Lot Fourteen innovation hub, site of the old Adelaide hospital.
“Some of the most innovative high-tech companies in Australia are already part of our rapidly-growing space community and we look forward to seeing this number increase as a result of this exciting announcement,” he said.
“In another win for the nation’s space sector, Lot Fourteen will also host Mission Control and a Space Discovery Centre.”
Topping that off, the new SmartSat CRC initiative, a locally-led co-operative research centre focused on the niche areas of intelligent satellite systems, advanced communications and Earth observation, would establish its headquarters in the same building as the Australian Space Agency.
This was secured with a $55 million Commonwealth grant and is a program worth $245 million over seven years.
“The South Australian government is committed to building on this momentum in the space sector and ensuring our young people take advantage of the opportunities now available to them in the space industry,” he said.
Richard Price, chief executive of the South Australian Space Industry Centre, said enormous momentum is building behind the SA space sector.
"Our state is at the centre of the nation's space endeavours, being home to the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency and the SmartSat (Co-operative Research Centre)," he said.
"The Mission Control Facility and Space Discovery Centre will soon be based in Adelaide.
"This further strengthens our leading role in this key industry.
"Together with strong attendance numbers expected for the space forum, this exciting investment is a true indication of the enormous momentum."
More than 600 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers and students attended the space forum on Thursday. This is the largest space event in the country and includes a series of panel sessions, covering space regulation, Australia, national and international space trends and the economics of space technology.
In the US, Premier Marshal will visit Team Defence Australia at the expo and meet representatives from key US defence companies.
He said this provided direct access to all the major international players across the defence and maritime industries.
He will also meet NASA associate administrator for international and interagency relations Al Condes at NASA’s Washington headquarters.
Premier Marshal said the meeting presents an invaluable opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the US within the space sector and explore opportunities for collaboration in the future.
“South Australia now has the genuine capacity to lead the way in the space sector nationally and internationally, so it’s crucial we forge relationships with giants of the industry like NASA, to maximise the potential for future growth,” he said.
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