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Space

Gilmour Space lands $52 million grant to ramp up Queensland’s rocket launching ambitions

- March 28, 2022 2 MIN READ
An artist's impression of the rocket launch pad at Abbot Point in Queensland.
Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies has received a $52 million grant from the federal government for its collaborative project bringing together more than 30 local space tech startups, and universities.

The Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN) was awarded Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration (MMIC) grant for the development of sovereign space capabilities in Australia.

The grant will help to co-fund the $157 million network bid, being led by Gilmour Space, which spans 32 companies and educational institutions across six states and territories.

Gilmour Space is one of the country’s largest space manufacturers, will work with a range of partners and universities to create a manufacturing and test hub in Queensland as well as an advanced manufacturing facility to produce launch vehicles and satellites.

The funding will also support the development of a rocket launch pad in North Queensland at Abbot Point, to be known as the Bowen Orbital Spaceport.

Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour said the federal support was big news for the local space sector.

“Rockets and satellites are key enablers of the global space economy. The co-funding will provide timely support for emerging space manufacturers to develop and mature significant space capabilities in Australia,” he said.

“Details have yet to be provided, but we and our ASMN partners intend to leverage on this grant to engage in the full spectrum of space activities, from research and development to advanced manufacturing and launch. These efforts will help grow the industry and deliver real civil, commercial and defence benefits for the nation.”

Industry, energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor said the grant funding will help unlock further collaboration between small and medium businesses and researchers for the local space sector.

“The race is on in the $600 billion global space economy and the Australian Space Manufacturing Network will help cement the incredible opportunities for local companies to be part of the excitement of launch,” he said.

“From testing to manufacture, to assembly and finally launch, this project will harness great Aussie know-how to attract further private investment and create hundreds of high-skilled and high-value jobs. This is a big win for Queensland jobs.”

“Through the work of the Australian Space Agency we already know that space technologies are playing an increasingly important role on earth, supporting navigation systems which draw on them in our cars and smartphones and by farmers to monitor the health of their crops.”

Over the next five years, the ASMN project is expected to support more than 850 new jobs, including 350 space manufacturers in engineering and technical roles.

Other organisations among the founding members of the ASMN include Earth Observation Australia, Freelance Robotics,  James Cook University, Myriota, Neumann Space, Space Machines Company, Spiral Blue, Swinburne University of Technology, Queensland Robotics and Valiant Space.

An artist’s impression of the Gilmour Space rocket manufacturing plant. Image: Gilmour Space