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NSW government confirms new Sydney Space Industry Hub for tech precinct

Max Blenkin

The NSW government has confirmed it will fund a National Space Industry Hub as an anchor tenant for the new, multibillion-dollar Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct located in the heart of the Sydney CBD.

NSW government confirms new Sydney Space Industry Hub for tech precinct
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The NSW government is planning a space industry hub for Sydney to rival the Lot Fourteen precinct in Adelaide.

State Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said NSW aimed to be at the forefront of the rapidly growing multibillion-dollar space industry, an ambition set out in the new Space Strategy launched this week.

Minister Ayres said the NSW Space Industry Development Strategy would maximise opportunities for NSW businesses to take advantage of the growing demand for space technologies, estimated to be worth $420 billion globally.

He said NSW currently accounted for the largest concentration of Australia’s space activities – 41 per cent of all Australian space businesses and 35 per cent of Australia’s university space research and development.

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“Nearly every industry is looking to increase its output and improve its efficiency through space-enabled technologies,” he said.

“Space is not just about what’s up there, it’s also about what’s down here. These technologies are used in robotics, agriculture, energy, communications, transportation, aviation, advanced manufacturing, information technology and construction. They are in the technology we all use in our daily lives.”

The $5 million space strategy will include the delivery of a National Space Industry Hub, planned to be the anchor tenant at the new Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct to be created in the redevelopment of Central Station.

That’s yet to be formally approved and will require some two years of construction.

The NSW government has called for expressions of interest from incubators, accelerators and facilitators with space experience to run the new National Space Industry Hub. That closes on 22 March.

The expressions of interest process is also looking for a delivery partner to facilitate access to space for start-ups and researchers looking to commercialise their technologies through a space qualification mission.

The NSW Space Strategy also backs the NSW government commitment to develop a space manufacturing and test facility at Aerotropolis, an industry and research hub to be built in conjunction with the new Western Sydney Airport.

That will include space, aviation, defence and advanced manufacturing industries, and training and research institutions.

Release of the NSW space strategy follows the launch of the Queensland Space Industry Strategy earlier this week, with both intended to maximise their share of the booming space sector.

“New manufacturing, design and software technologies have reduced barriers to entry into the space sector,” the NSW strategy document said.

“They have also ushered in a new era of low-cost satellites and payloads, known as Space 2.0, in which small companies and start-ups can play a larger role.

“The NSW government is committed to ensuring that the state’s space industry is well positioned to benefit from continued rapid growth in international demand for emerging space technologies.”

However, Adelaide has a head start, with a growing space sector and the Lot Fourteen precinct, home to the Australian Space Agency.

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