Space Industry Hub at RMIT University takes VIC expertise global

Space Industry Hub

AWS Ground Stations like this will allow Space Industry Hub partners to easily access the satellite data they need. Credit: AWS.

A new Space Industry Hub at RMIT University will connect local companies and researchers to global opportunities in space technology. 

The Victorian government has announced its $1 million contribution will be matched by SmartSat CRC for the Space Industry Hub. Also, significant technical and training support will be offered from Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as industry engagement backing from research and product development company, FrontierSI. 

This funding will establish several flagship research projects, aimed at connecting local capability with booming space industry markets both here and abroad, especially in the US and Europe. 

The Space Industry Hub will also host the Victorian node of the SmartSat CRC – a national consortium of industry and research organisations developing game-changing space technologies.  

The Hub’s primary focus was to help local companies – from agriculture and transport to logistics and manufacturing – develop new technologies, skills and capabilities using satellite data, RMIT deputy vice-chancellor for STEM and vice president Digital Innovation, Professor Aleksandar Subic said. 

“The RMIT Space Industry Hub will be a launch pad and an industrial solutions incubator to support collaboration and innovation for Victoria’s space industry growth,” Subic said. 

“At the core of this growth are digital technologies and leveraging the state’s strong capabilities in advanced manufacturing.” 

The Hub will provide affordable access to real-time satellite data for industry collaborators through AWS Ground Station. This service allows users to control their satellite communications, process data and scale their operations without having to worry about building or managing ground station infrastructures. 

This improved access to satellite data would help drive innovation and provide new market opportunities for Australian businesses, AWS country director for Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand Iain Rouse said. 

“When space is made accessible and cost-effective, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. AWS is excited to help the Space Industry Hub accelerate their research, innovation and capability development in space,” Rouse said. 

This major step for Victoria is part of a national effort to become leaders in the space economy, SmartSat CRC CEO Andy Koronios said. 

“We are delighted that the Victorian government has made this investment, which with SmartSat co-investment will help spark innovation and develop technologies to leverage the huge opportunities the space economy offers,” Koronios said. 

“SmartSat CRC nodes around Australia will provide opportunities for joint projects to leverage national and international space collaborative initiatives such as NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Program, UK Space Bridge, state government space industry investments and CRC-P grants.” 

Collaborative sector roadmaps are being developed to guide researchers and local industries in how to capitalise on space industry opportunities, FrontierSI CEO Dr Graeme Kernich said. 

“The Space Industry Hub provides the opportunity to connect Victoria’s world-leading research and solution providers with the challenges and opportunities of the global space sector,” Kernich said. 

“We are delighted that this strategic collaboration intends to leverage innovative space technologies into impactful solutions used by industry.” 

The Hub will make the most of RMIT’s existing facilities, services and research centres, as well as its innovation networks through RMIT Europe and the university’s entrepreneurship and innovation unit, RMIT Activator. 

“With our strong research capabilities in data science, space engineering and geospatial science, our strategic industry partnerships and our global reach, RMIT is well placed to host this Hub and help grow the Victorian space industry,” Subic said. 

The Australian Research Council rates RMIT’s engineering, artificial intelligence and computer science research, among other areas, as well above world standard. The Geospatial World Forum has named RMIT Geospatial Research Institute of the Year. 

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