SmartSat CRC now online

By on 17 April, 2019

Federal funding of $55 million to create CRC for small satellite research will join $190 million in industry funding.

Anounced on Monday at  which formalises the successful bid for the new centre into the government’s cooperative research centre (CRC) program, was made on Monday by the University of South Australia and Macquarie University in NSW.

The federal funding will be disbursed over seven years, and will join industry investment from the likes of Optus, BAE, Airbus, Nova Systems, Northrop Grumman, Thales, SciSys and FrontierSI, for a total funding pool of around $245 million.

FrontierSI CEO Graeme Kernich welcomed the news of the funding.

“FrontierSI is delighted to be a core partner of the SmartSat CRC. We will apply our expertise, gained from running one of the most successful CRCs in the CRC Programme history, to strengthen the connection between space and spatial and establish a demand-driven, thriving space industry,” Kernich said.

“Space and spatial are intrinsically linked, with spatial often creating the demand for new space infrastructure,” he said. “The Australian Space Agency announcement was the first turning point. The SmartSat CRC being successful in this CRC round is the second. We will build on this momentum. We will use our strong pedigree of developing industry growth from within the CRC program to ensure the downstream applications of space are optimised and can be accessed by all sectors.”

The new CRC will be headquartered in South Australia, and will establish state nodes. Its primary objective will be solving major satellite system and advanced communications challenges and will boost Australia’s capability in earth observation driven data analytics, intelligent satellite systems and advanced connectivity technologies.

UniSA’s Professor Andy Koronio, bid leader and SmartSat CEO designate, said that the $500 billion global space industry has been underpinned by serious global investment in research.

“Australia has had a strong pedigree and a long history in space with excellent scientific capabilities in instrumentation and communications technologies, but until now the research has not been brought together to build a new industry for Australia, and to capitalise on the exponential growth of the global space economy,” he said.

“Our goal in bringing together the bid for the SmartSat CRC was to show the huge potential and capacity there is in Australia to make an impact globally by developing leapfrogging technologies in areas where we have some of the best expertise on the planet – AI, advanced communications and remote sensing analytics.”

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