Last updated April 15, 2019 at 6:38 pm
A new research centre will be the largest R&D investment into space technology in the country and promises to revolutionise our presence in space.
The largest space initiative in Australia’s history will see nearly a quarter of a billion dollars invested in smart satellite technologies.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Satellite Technologies and Analytics, better known as SmartSatCRC, will develop new satellite technology to monitor Australia’s vast, sparsely populated landscape and enormous maritime borders
From monitoring livestock, providing on demand tracking of bushfires to identifying new mineral resources, Earth Observation is a key part of the USD $345 billion value of space.
However SmartSatCRC will develop more than just technology to take images from space – it is also key to connecting the Earth as never before. This connectivity is key to the burgeoning Internet of Things which will extend devices across Australia and usher in the next Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0, and supporting that future of the Nation is a key focus of the SmartSatCRC.
The technologies and jobs created are expected to repay the economy at least 3 times over and enhance everything from farms, fisheries and forestry, to daily city life in unexpected ways.
Nationwide collaborative effort
The bid was developed by UniSA together with Nova Systems and will see over 80 research and industry partners join in a collaborative effort. Sharing a budget and other contributions totalling $245 million, SmartSatCRC will also be the most resourced CRC in history.
Although the new CRC will be headquartered in South Australia, the announcement stressed that SmartSatCRC will be a national program and will involve some of the best universities in the country, as well as the CSIRO and DST.
The bid was led by UniSA’s Prof Andy Koronios, who has ambitions that the SmartSatCRC demonstrate 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.”
Funded for 7 years, the SmartSatCRC is expected to accelerate the growing space economy, and foster new jobs and services in the space industry. With the Australian Space Agency fostering a domestic space industry, the SmartSatCRC and the technology it develops is set to play a central role in meeting the Agency’s goal of lifting Australia’s space industry to $12 billion, and generating an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.
With the Australian Space Agency’s vision setting the destination, the SmartSatCRC is one of the main vehicles that takes us there.