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Australian Government reviews space industry capabilities to participate in global market

South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory will join forces to strengthen calls for a national space agency at tomorrow’s Council of Australian Government’s Industry and Skills Council (CISC) meeting.

The space counterparts will a present a joint position paper discussing ways to grow Australia’s space industry at the meeting, which will be attended by Australia’s state and federal ministers, including South Australian Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Chris Picton.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said the move will add further pressure on the Australian Government to take action and establish a dedicated Australian Space Agency, aimed at stimulating the nation’s space economy as there are opportunities abound, not just in communications, but also in defence, research and security.                Last month, the Australian Government announced it will review the nation’s space industry capability to develop a long-term plan to grow this important and exciting sector.   

The space industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52 per cent from 1998 to 2015, more than three times the annual growth rate of world GDP in the same period. Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 billion. The review will consult widely and examine Australia’s current capability and areas of comparative advantage, as well as her regional and international collaboration within the sector. Importantly, it will also consider how the space industry sector aligns with other sectors and Government priorities.                    

The Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability will build on the principles set out in the existing Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy (2013) by developing a strategic framework for the Australian space sector that supports leadership, innovation, opportunity and entrepreneurship across the sector along with her broader national interests.

The Review will specifically address the following matters:

  • identifying Australia’s current industry capability and areas of comparative advantage for Australia to develop,
  • technologies and practices that promote innovation in both the downstream (users of space technologies) and upstream (providers of space technologies) elements of space activities, particularly in areas of niche capability and competitive advantage,
  • Australia’s level of regional engagement and international collaboration, including identifying critical future and existing partnerships,
  • identifying capability gaps to support the global competitiveness of Australian firms in the civil space sector,
  • strategies to promote Australian firms engaged in the civil space sector, both domestically and internationally,
  • risks and opportunities, including ongoing access to space data and associated infrastructure essential to Australia’s national interests,
  • alignment with other sectors and Australian Government priorities, including Defence and cyber security, and meeting Australia’s international obligations, and
  • the most effective institutional arrangements to support the strategic direction of Australia’s space industry

​​Consultations with key stakeholders and state jurisdictions will be conducted as part of this review with a focus on the matters set out above. The review will commence from July 2017 and be completed by end March 2018.

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