FrontierSI will host the Advancing Australia’s Space and Spatial Capability panel at the upcoming Locate19 conference in April. We sat down with the panel’s facilitator, Eva Rodriguez, to get a preview of what we can expect.Spatial Source: Australia’s space ambitions and rapidly developing space-adjacent industries have been major news in the last year. What is the motivation behind the panel you will be hosting for FrontierSI at Locate19?
ER: There has never been so much activity around the space sector in Australia, everyone is excited about the potential opportunities it may bring. We want to provide insights into what the latest developments are and separate the hype from reality. A key point is in changing the perception that we, in Australia, are merely ‘users of space’. The spatial sector in Australia has a key role to play in the demand generation of space-based downstream applications.
Spatial Source: Who is this panel aimed at, in terms of Locate19 attendees?
ER: Anyone will benefit from joining the discussion, especially spatial companies and spatial professionals. From the surveyor to the analyst, the policy maker to the farmer will be impacted by space every day, so why not have a say in the future of space for Australia?
Spatial Source: Are you able to preview an agenda for the discussion, and to what extent would you like delegates to drive the conversation?
ER: We want to uncover the opportunities, but also the challenges that are associated with space. We want a real discussion between the audience and the expert panellists. This is a time for attendees to come armed with the hard questions, this is a unique chance to voice the concerns and doubts about space and get clarity and inspiration from the experts. It will be a highly interactive session, it is going to be fun!
Spatial Source: Can you give us a teaser of who will be appearing on the panel?
ER: Let’s leave some surprises for the day! I would only say that it is a high calibre panel, with representatives from government – including the Australian Space Agency, and leading voices in space research and the private sector.
Spatial Source: What do you see as the most exciting or unique aspects about Australia’s opportunities in space at this juncture?
ER: Australia’s geographic position presents us with complex challenges that no other nation has, this gives us a unique playground, specially primed for the development and testing of space technologies. We have an incredible pool of national talent, ingenuity and innovative thinking. Space brings an opportunity to channel all that nationally, to inspire the next generation of students to join the industry, so it is time to stop making excuses and get our thinking (and doing) hats to work.
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