Agreement for co-operation heralds new era for Aussie space industry

Agreement for co-operation heralds new era for Aussie space industry

Stephen Kuper

The Australian Space Agency has established a statement of strategic intent and co-operation with Lockheed Martin Australia, which marks a turning point in the development of Australia’s local space industry.

Strategic statements of intent and co-operation led by the Australian Space Agency with industry partners are designed to highlight areas of investment and growth for Australia’s unique potential in space research and development and commercial applications. 

At the heart of the relationship is a shared vision for enabling and supporting a thriving Australian space sector through investment in space systems and services, technological capabilities, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education initiatives, which will be a key feature of Lockheed Martin’s STEM presence at Avalon this year.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the agency’s fourth statement of strategic intent with an industry partner is another step forward as the ASA grows opportunities for investment in space systems and services.  

"Lockheed Martin is an ideal partner to help achieve the Liberal National government’s vision of tripling the size of Australia’s space sector to $12 billion by 2030, creating up to 20,000 new jobs," Minister Andrews explained. 

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Today’s signing adds to agreements already reached with Airbus, Nova Systems and Siatel. 

Dr Megan Clark AC, head of the Australian Space Agency, welcomed this latest signing, saying, "The agreement with Lockheed Martin Australia will make a significant contribution to industry growth and will help to inspire the next generation of Australians through STEM education and community awareness programs focused on space."

 

Rod Drury, managing director – Australia and New Zealand, Lockheed Martin Space, said the agreement highlighted Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to investing in partnerships with Australia’s research and industry communities while providing opportunities for technology transfer, innovation, local skilled jobs and sustainable business growth.

"The relationship with the Australian Space Agency further underscores our ongoing commitment to supporting the development of this exciting sector, which is rapidly emerging as a key enabler of Australia’s national security interests and the economy as a whole," Mr Drury added. 

Lockheed Martin continues to invest in several space-oriented initiatives and projects in Australia, including a joint research and development partnership with Curtin University to investigate the potential for commercialising of its Desert Fireball Network as a space situational awareness (SSA) capability. Other noteworthy programs include the ongoing development of Australia’s Satellite-Based Augmentation Services test-bed network, expanding the capacity underpinning Australia’s SSA, position navigation and timing ecosystem, as well as various STEM-focused initiatives.

"The relationship with the Australian Space Agency further underscores our ongoing commitment to supporting the development of this exciting sector, which is rapidly emerging as a key enabler of Australia’s national security interests and the economy as a whole," Drury said. 

The Space Agency’s focus will be on fostering international space partnerships and opening the door for local businesses to compete in the global space economy, helping to drive job growth, with initial priorities including:

  • Communications technologies, services and ground stations;
  • Space situational awareness and debris monitoring;
  • Positioning, navigation and timing infrastructure;
  • Earth observation services;
  • Research and development;
  • Remote asset management; and
  • Developing a strategy to position Australia as an international leader in specialised space capabilities.

The Australian Space Agency is a whole-of-government body, with the purpose to transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry and the use of space to lift the broader economy. This will be underpinned by strong international and national engagement.

Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.

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