New space data facility seeks SME collaboration

By on 26 May, 2021

Mark Stickells, Pawsey Executive Director

The Australian Space Data Analysis Facility (ASDAF), officially launched this week in Western Australia, has been given the mission of stimulating innovation in the use of space data by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The facility, managed by the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and Western Australian Data Science Innovation Hub and assisted by the Curtin Institute for Computation, will give SMEs access to space data and tools, training and capacity building, and analytical expertise.

It is hoped that this will spur the acceleration of commercialisation of new products and services.

The ASDAF is therefore seeking expressions of interest from SMEs that need help to capitalise on the flood of space and Earth observation data becoming available.

“The use of space data and Earth-observation technologies is growing every day,” said Pawsey’s executive director, Mark Stickells.

“There is significant opportunity for business to use this data, whether it is looking at human land use, physical changes in the landscape, soil moisture or atmospheric conditions.

“We are seeking expressions of interest now. If you are an SME, in any sector, and you think your business could capitalise on data collected from space, make an application.”

Federal funding has been provided through the Australian Space Agency’s $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund, while WA has provided $750,000.

“Putting the right space data, tools and capabilities in the hands of business has the potential to drive down costs, increase productivity, create new value and grow the economy,” said the head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo.

“While costs have come down in recent times, space data and analytics have yet to realise the potential which creative, commercial SMEs can bring to business and consumer applications across many sectors of the Australian economy.

“The ASDAF hopes to provide SMEs with the expertise and access to analytics needed to encourage innovative and practical applications of space data.”

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