SA government announces Space Sector Strategy

The South Australian state government has launched its Space Sector Strategy at the 10th Australian Space Forum.

The new strategy will aim to drive the state’s contribution to the Australian Space Agency goal of tripling the size of the nation’s domestic space industry to $12 billion by 2030, helping to create thousands of jobs.

South Australia will focus its activities in space industry and research to propel the state’s growth in the sector and contribute to the national agenda.

Premier Steven Marshall made it clear that South Australia’s space sector will be critical in the state’s economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.

“South Australia is unequivocally the home of space and this strategy sets a framework for South Australia to reach for the stars,” he said.

“Businesses in the space sector will be creating thousands of job opportunities for South Australians over the next decade which is great for our economy.

“Our vision for growth is simple – by 2030, South Australia will be designing, manufacturing, launching, and operating SmallSats (small satellites) to deliver actionable, space-derived intelligence for sovereign Australian missions – creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

“Space is one of the nine sectors we have identified as a priority in our plan for further economic prosperity, helping to keep SA safe and strong and helping to create new jobs in this exciting sector.”

“While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has unequivocally affected the space sector, South Australia’s space sector growth target projects above average growth of 5.8 per cent for the next ten years.

The strategy was drafted in collaboration with industry and is a crucial part of South Australia’s broader Growth State Strategy, a partnership between the South Australian Government and industry to accelerate our economy through business expansion and innovation.

Three pillars for growth shape efforts to build a thriving and enduring South Australian space ecosystem, dedicated to supporting the national strategy, cultivating South Australia as a centre-of-gravity for Australia’s expanding space activities, and capitalising on the opportunities of NewSpace.

This means a focus on launch into accessible lower Earth orbits, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to exploit space-derived data, technological advances to develop small satellites, expanding a skilled workforce, and building on the state’s innovation ecosystem.

South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC) chief executive Richard Price says the already thriving South Australia innovation ecosystem is already in take-off with the emergence of new and disruptive markets.

“While traditional space-related services fundamentally underpin our way of life on Earth and deliver a large proportion of the revenue attributed to the space sector, there are phenomenal opportunities for the new breed of space-related services that are unencumbered by legacy practice,” he said.

“These NewSpace-enabled products and services have strong potential to improve the productivity and competitiveness of virtually every sector of the broader economy, as well as making a direct contribution to growth in South Australia.

“We are committed to getting behind new entrants in the space industry and supporting domestic and international companies to develop and grow innovative and disruptive ideas contributing to our space sector.”