Victoria is taking on South Australia in the local space race with RMIT University in Melbourne announced plans for a new Space Industry Hub for local companies and researchers.
The Victorian government is backing the plan with $1 million in funding matched by SmartSat CRC.This funding will establish several flagship research projects aimed at connecting local capability with the local and international space sectors, especially in the US and Europe.
The Hub will also host the Victorian node of the SmartSat CRC – a national consortium of industry and research organisations developing game-changing space technologies.
Professor Aleksandar Subic, RMIT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for STEM and Vice President Digital Innovation, said the Hub’s primary focus was to help local companies – from agriculture and transport to logistics and manufacturing – develop new technologies, skills and capabilities using satellite data.
“The RMIT Space Industry Hub will be a launch pad and an industrial solutions incubator to support collaboration and innovation for Victoria’s space industry growth,” he said.
“At the core of this growth are digital technologies and leveraging the state’s strong capabilities in advanced manufacturing.”
The Hub will provide affordable access to real-time satellite data for industry collaborators through AWS Ground Station.
Andy Koronios, CEO of SmartSat CRC, said the Victorian initiative was part of a national effort.
“We are delighted that the Victorian Government has made this investment, which with SmartSat co-investment will help spark innovation and develop technologies to leverage the huge opportunities the space economy offers,” he said.
“SmartSat CRC nodes around Australia will provide opportunities for joint projects to leverage national and international space collaborative initiatives such as NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Program, UK Space Bridge, state government space industry investments and CRC-P grants.”
Professor Subic said that RMIT has strong research capabilities in data science, space engineering and geospatial science, as well as strategic industry partnerships and a global reach.