CSIRO launches new space industry roadmap

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall and Australian Space Agency Head Dr Megan Clark.

The CSIRO has launched a new report into opportunities for Australia’s space industry, highlighting deep space exploration, earth observation and debris tracking as potential growth areas.

The report, Space: A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia, was launched by federal industry, science and technology minister, Karen Andrews, at the 18th Australian Space Research Conference on the Gold Coast today.

Andrews said that the report outlined the business opportunities that a growing space industry would create in the country, and the potential expansion of jobs that could result.

“From our factory floors to our farms a vibrant space industry will unlock opportunities and create jobs for all sorts of businesses,” Andrews said.

“CSIRO’s report is a key component in planning the future pathway for the Australian space industry.”

According to the report, Australia can leverage its strengths and geographic advantages to grow its share of the international space sector, and help expand the domestic space industry to $12 billion by 2030.

For instance, Australia’s industrial and research strengths across astronomy, mining, manufacturing, medicine, agriculture and robotics, the report states, can help support space deep space exploration missions. Further, the country’s position in the sourthern hemisphere enables close work with international programs that track objects in space, manage space debris, and enable deep space communication.

CSIRO chief executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said the report charts a course for economic growth via an expanding national space industry.

“CSIRO’s unique position creates a bridge between research and industry to deliver breakthrough innovation to Australian SMEs and start-ups across the space value chain,” Marshall said.

Dr Megan Clark, head of the new Australian Space Agency said the report introduced key scientific opportunities to drive engagement and growth across the space industry value chain.

“Together, the Australian Space Agency, CSIRO and other key partners will drive the full potential of our nation’s capabilities and competitive advantages, optimising our research and development opportunities and targeting growth across the space value chain to build a space sector of which all Australians can be proud,” Clark said.