Australian Space Manufacturing Network makes $150 million bid for MMI funding

Australian Space Manufacturing Network

The Australian Space Manufacturing Network are supporting a $150 million bid for the Modern Manufacturing Initiative – Collaboration (MMIC) stream,  to recognise the growing market opportunities for new space products and services.

Satellites with sensors and cameras that detect bushfires within minutes, provide real-time crop data to farmers, connect our remote towns and communities; and rockets that provide valuable access to space from Australia. These are some of the real-world capabilities possible with modern space technology.  

Innovations like these are already being developed by researchers and companies in Australia.  

“However, the space industry is still very new relative to other industry pillars and it lacks the funding and basic infrastructure to support it,” Gilmour Space Technologies CEO, Adam Gilmour, said. 

Gilmour Space Technologies is Queensland SME planning to launch the first Australian-made rockets and satellites to orbit next year. 

The Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN) – led by Gilmour Space, with backing from the Queensland government – aims to establish three new space facilities, centred in Queensland:   

  • a common test and manufacturing facility, enabling members to advance their space research and technology development at lower cost 
  • an advanced manufacturing facility for building commercial rockets and satellites, anchored by Gilmour Space 
  • an orbital spaceport at Abbot Point near Bowen in North Queensland, that will help bring many of these products to space. 

“With participation from six states and territories in Australia, we see this as a genuinely industry-led project,” Gilmour said. 

“Providing the framework and infrastructure needed to unlock collaborations, create jobs and capability, attract private investment and advance Australian space technologies from initial concept through to commercialisation and launch.” 

Among the ASMN founding members are Swinburne University of Technology in VIC; Space Machines Company and Neumann Space in SA; Electro Optic Systems and Greatcell Energy in the ACT; Spiral Blue in NSW; the ARM Hub and Griffith University in QLD; and a number of international space companies such as SatRevolution from Poland, which are looking to set up operations in Australia and provide export and supply chain opportunities to local companies.  

“Australian space manufacturing facilities will unlock Australia’s true potential as a respected space faring nation,” EOS Communications Systems CEO Glen Tindall said. 

“The Australian Space Manufacturing Network and the diverse range of partners it brings together, demonstrates the end-to-end benefit these types of facilities will have across Australia and beyond.” 

For Australia’s manufacturing future, companies need to do bigger business together, according to ARM Hub CEO Dr Cori Stewart. 

“As a key partner in the Australian Space Manufacturing Network, ARM Hub will be catalysing commercialisation through industry access to the nation’s expertise, de-risking technology adoption and building workforce digital capability, collaboratively,” she said.  

The global space economy is expected to grow to a trillion dollars by 2030. 

“The MMIC will provide timely support for our emerging space manufacturers to develop and mature significant, and globally competitive, space capabilities in Australia,” Gilmour said. 

The ASMN proposal has been submitted to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.