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Leonardo joins Lot Fourteen space precinct, partnership with SmartSat CRC

Stephen Kuper

Italian defence and aerospace conglomerate Leonardo has announced it is enhancing its footprint in the Australian space industry through its subsidiary e-GEOS – in partnership with SmartSat CRC setting up at Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen.

Leonardo joins Lot Fourteen space precinct, partnership with SmartSat CRC
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Leonardo has committed to the South Australian space ecosystem establishing a foothold for its space service business through its subsidiary e-GEOS in partnership with SmartSat CRC.

E-GEOS is a joint venture between Telespazio – Leonardo’s subsidiary  and the Italian Space Agency.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall welcomed the announcement, and Leonardo to Lot Fourteen, saying, "South Australia is the defence and space capital of the country and it’s fantastic to see another incredible international company choosing South Australia to do business. 

"The strong interest being shown by major national and international players is a coup for South Australia and is further evidence that Lot Fourteen is a magnet for business and jobs. The addition of Leonardo to Lot Fourteen cements my governments strong commitment to create a once in a generation hub that will generate thousands of jobs for South Australians now and into the future."

Professor Andy Koronios, SmartSat CEO, added, "Leonardo Australia aims to work with SmartSat to harness local expertise and develop competitive business opportunities with their global partners, leading to job creation and industry growth."

In 2019, Leonardo Australia, through the involvement of e-GEOS, became a supporting partner of Adelaide-based space Cooperative Research Centre SmartSat CRC. 

Michael Lenton, executive chairman of Leonardo Australia, added, "Lot Fourteen is the beating heart of Australia’s space activity. It is where the future of Australia’s space capability is being created. Leonardo and e-GEOS have so much space expertise to bring, technology to transfer and experience to share. We want to see the Australian space industry grow. How could we not be part of this thrilling venture?"

Leonardo Australia’s partnership with SmartSat is a key driver in the company’s strategy to grow its presence in the space industry within the Oceania region and to develop joint research and commercialisation opportunities.

Richard Price, chief executive of Defence SA, said, "Leonardo can leverage decades of expertise and experience in space programs and plays a crucial role in several important space missions, such as the Galileo global navigation system, Copernicus, COSMO-SkyMed, Prisma (Hyperspectral Precursor), ExoMars and Rosetta missions, as well as the International Space Station. The company’s presence in Adelaide is a major step for the South Australian ecosystem."

As a prominent provider of the European Copernicus program, e-GEOS supports rapid security and disaster response operations all over the world, including providing Australian fire authorities with rapid mapping during recent bushfires.

Leonardo Australia is the regional subsidiary of Leonardo, a global top 10 high technology defence and space company with annual revenues of $23 billion. 

George Coulloupas, business development manager – space at Leonardo Australia, is leading Leonardo Australia’s space line of business based at Lot Fourteen.

Coulloupas has extensive Australian experience in start-up innovation, space-derived service commercialisation and primary research in next-generation satellite systems.

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre brings together over 100 national and international partners who have invested over $190 million, along with $55 million in federal government funding under its Cooperative Research Centres Program, in a $245 million research effort over seven years.

Working closely with the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat will make a strong contribution to the Australian government’s goal of tripling the size of the space sector to $12 billion and creating up to 20,000 jobs by 2030. 

Alongside developing projects with SmartSat CRC, Leonardo Australia is preparing to deliver world leading geo-information expertise and unique access to dual military and civil satellites provided by e-GEOS.

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