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Victoria launches campaign to position itself as home for new Australian Space Agency

Victoria launches campaign to position itself as home for new Australian Space Agency

As reported
earlier
, Australia has set aside A$41 million is
earmarked for the country to establish its first national space agency over
the next 4 years.

According
to a recent
press release
, the Andrews Labor Government in Victoria,
Australia, has launched a new campaign to make Victoria the home of the new
Australian Space Agency. The move aims to grow Victoria’s thriving space
industry, create jobs and boost the state’s economy.

Earlier this month, Minister for Industry and Employment Ben
Carroll joined Victorian Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples and Associate
Professor Alan Duffy at Swinburne University of Technology
to promote Victoria’s aerospace capabilities.

According to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben
Carroll, Victoria has generations of
manufacturing experience and major companies willing to invest, making it “the
perfect home” for the Australian Space Agency.

According to the statement, Victoria is the ideal home for
the new agency given its well-established advanced manufacturing and data
science sectors, with more than one-in-five Australian space-related science
and technology companies based in the state.

Victoria is also well positioned both commercially and
geographically to be the physical centre and a focal point for coordinating
national and international collaboration on space and attracting global investment.

Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples also echoed that Victoria is at the forefront of research,
engineering and advanced manufacturing in the areas of aerospace, satellite
communications, cybersecurity and spatial information for both the civil and
defence industries.

Some of the world’s biggest names in aerospace – including
Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems – also carry out aerospace
research, development and manufacturing in Victoria.

At the same time, the biggest user of space technology in
Australia, the Bureau
of Meteorology
and the leading international research and
development centre Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial
Information
are also based in Melbourne.

“Victoria has a
proud legacy of world-class advanced manufacturing, as well as the key
universities and industry R&D collaborations in data science and AI to best
use that data from space. Our state is ready to support the growth of the
Australian space industry that operates on a global scale and beyond,” said Swinburne
University of Technology Associate Professor Alan Duffy.

Swinburne University has partnered with the California
Institute of Technology, giving the institute unique access to the Keck
Observatory in Hawaii, while La Trobe University has a $20 million partnership
with the German Space Agency to develop and design a super-sharp-image camera
to fly on the International Space Station.

The global space industry is forecast to be worth more than
A$1 trillion by 2040, Victoria can help see Australia’s share of this market
increase to tens of billions of dollars, potentially creating 20,000 jobs.

Commencing its operation on 1 July 2018, the Australian
Space Agency will have four
core responsibilities

(1) support the development of Australia’s
space industry so that it can compete effectively in the global space sector, 

(2) coordinate domestic activities in Australia’s space sector, 

(3) engage
closely with key stakeholders, including state and territory governments, to
identify opportunities to harness industry advantages and create a globally
competitive space industry in Australia, and 

(4) facilitate international space
engagement, both in policy and industry forums, to build the networks needed to
develop Australia’s space capability and ensure our industry players can access
global supply chains.

The agency will also administer legislative
arrangements for Australian civil space activities, ensuring that these
activities are in Australia’s national interests and align to the country’s
international obligations in space.