Adelaide has been chosen as the headquarters of the newly established Australian Space Agency.
The Australian Space Agency was officially launched on 1st July and received $41 million over four years from 2018-19 in the federal budget to “grow the Australian space industry,” including $26 million to help launch the agency which will “coordinate domestic space activities for Australia”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision to base the agency in South Australia reinforced the state’s long-standing contribution to Australia’s space journey.
“South Australia is the ideal location for the Australian Space Agency with a range of local space industry businesses already established here as well as a rapidly growing defence industry sector,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“Establishing the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency in South Australia will launch our space and defence sectors to the next level.”
South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said long-term investment in Adelaide and its space sector would drive entrepreneurship and innovation while enhancing the city’s liveability.
“South Australia is the ideal location for the Australian Space Agency with a range of local space industry businesses already established here as well as a rapidly growing defence industry sector,” he said.
The Australian Space Agency will be headquartered at Lot Fourteen, a former hospital being transformed into an innovation district in the CBD of Adelaide, South Australia.
South Australia has been a major player in the nation’s space industry and is home to major Tier 1 defence companies and several emerging space start-ups, including Fleet Space Technologies and Myriota, which have between them launched four satellites in the past two months, and Southern Launch, which is establishing a launch facility in the state’s north.
The South Australia Space Industry Centre has been instrumental in helping establish the space sector in the state and reports that there are more than 70 companies employing 800 people in the industry in South Australia, including Italian space company SITAEL.
Prime Minister Morrison said the new agency would “turbo-charge” these efforts by “opening doors for local businesses and Australian access to the US$345 billion global space industry.”
“Our government’s $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“This Agency is part of our plan for a stronger economy for South Australia and the country which is about delivering long-term, high-wage, high-skills jobs.”
South Australia is also backing a bid for the SmartSat CRC, a collaborative effort to solve major satellite system and advanced communications challenges that will provide enhanced connectivity, navigation and monitoring, to be based in Adelaide.
The South Australian pitch for a $200 million space industry-focused cooperative research centre in Adelaide is one of six finalists, with the winning bids for the $731 million CRC programme being announced in 2019.