STEM and space sector get boost from government funding

The Australian government is strengthening Australia’s space sector with $12 million in new funding initiatives.

Announced on March 18, the Mission Control Centre will receive $6m in funding and an additional $6m will go towards establishing a Space Discovery Centre in Adelaide, the home of the Australian Space Agency.

The funding will form part of the Adelaide City Deal, which will soon be signed by the three levels of government.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said that the Mission Control Centre will be built at Lot Fourteen and complement the work of the Agency.

“The Mission Control Centre will be a focal point for space missions in Australia, providing facilities to control small satellite missions, enabling real-time control and testing and the accelerated development of Australian satellite technology,” said Andrews.

“It will be available for use by space start-ups and SME space businesses, as well as research and educational institutions from across Australia.”

These investments will help the Australian Space Agency foster the growth of a globally competitive space industry, worth more than $345 billion.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the Adelaide City Deal was providing funding for innovative projects and supporting job creation in South Australia.

“Through our investments, Adelaide has become a major centre for defence and space industries and this is another step in that direction.”

Both the Mission Control Centre and the Space Discovery Centre are being built with the support of and in collaboration with the South Australian government.

The Space Discovery Centre will provide STEM education, engagement and inspiration for young Australians, as well as activities such as mission simulation and training for tertiary education.

The federal government established the Australian Space Agency in July 2018 and is investing $41m over four years in its development as part of our plan to grow this sector, and create an additional 1.25 million jobs in the next five years.

The Agency and investment in Australia’s space sector is part of the coalition’s plan to further grow Australia’s economy, with the aim to triple the size of our sector to $12b and create up to 20,000 new jobs by 2030.