Deloitte and Amazon space challenge expands into UK

Image: Deloitte

Registrations have opened for space innovation program, the Gravity Challenge, which will run in Australia and the UK this year.

The program, backed by Deloitte and Amazon, brings together challengers (businesses, government agencies, universities) and innovators (entrepreneurs and small businesses) to solve challenges using space data and technology.

Deloitte’s head of innovation, Jason Bender said the company was “thrilled” to take the challenge international.

“In the current climate, programs like Gravity are important, as they emphasise a ‘future focus’ in times of crisis,” he said.

Last year’s program featured challenges across defence, mining, health, insurance and agriculture.

More challenges around environmental sustainability, emergency management, health, life sciences, travel and tourism are expected to take place at this year’s event.

South Australian Space Industry Centre CEO, Richard Price said the South Australian government was proud to be a key partner again following the success of the program in 2019.

“It is terrific to see the Gravity Challenge coming back bigger, better and international in 2020,” he said.

“South Australia is a leader in the nation’s space endeavours and we have a thriving space ecosystem of private enterprise, research and educational institutions, consultancies and government departments.”

The Australian Space Agency will also support the challenge for a second year.

Gravity HQ will be hosted at the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in Adelaide, considered to the centre of Australia’s space industry.

Deloitte’s Australian chief strategy and innovation officer, Rob Hillard said the success of the inaugural Gravity Challenge showed the value of bringing together disparate stakeholders to solve problems across “almost any industry”.

“The Gravity Challenge is about using space technologies, such as satellite imaging and the internet of things, to solve real world problems happening on earth today,” he said.

Lot Fourteen is home to the Australian Space Agency and SmartSat CRC and the state’s space industry credentials will be further strengthened with the Mission Control Facility and Space Discovery Centre also set to join the precinct.

Deloitte and Amazon Web Services will draw on their capabilities in Australia and the UK to help accelerate commercial innovation in the space sectors of both countries.