Unlocking Australia’s space economy

Deep space exploration, Earth observation and debris tracking have been identified as key growth opportunities for Australia’s space sector in a CSIRO report launched at the 18th Australian Space Research Conference on the Gold Coast today.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, launched Space: A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia, the latest industry roadmap from Australia’s national science agency.

Minister Andrews said the report highlights how a growing space industry will help create business opportunities and drive jobs growth.

“Australia is ready to take bold new steps to grow its space sector, providing jobs now and into the future,” Minister Andrews said.

“From our factory floors to our farms a vibrant space industry will unlock opportunities and create jobs for all sorts of businesses,” she said.

“CSIRO’s report is a key component in planning the future pathway for the Australian space industry.”

The Coalition Government established the Australian Space Agency to help triple the size of our space industry, create 20,000 new jobs and new business opportunities.

Following extensive consultations with industry, the report outlines how some of Australia’s strengths and geographic advantages are key to enhancing our share of the international space sector, and growing the size of our domestic space industry to $12 billion by 2030.

The space roadmap presents three key areas for potential development:

  • By harnessing our diverse industrial and research strengths across astronomy, mining, manufacturing, medicine, agriculture and robotics for Earth-based industry, we can support space exploration and deep space gateway habitats to safely conduct robotic and human missions.
  • By building our capabilities in observing Earth from space, satellite communications, and positioning, navigation and timing data, we can grow new businesses that address issues such as disaster and water management.
  • By taking advantage of Australia’s geographic position in the southern hemisphere, we can further our work with international programs that track objects in space, manage space debris, and enable deep space communication.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said the space roadmap charts a course for economic growth using space, and champions a new era of space exploration to inspire our children with the power of science to make the ‘impossible’ possible.

“CSIRO’s unique position creates a bridge between research and industry to deliver breakthrough innovation to Australian SMEs and start-ups across the space value chain,” Marshall said.

Dr Megan Clark, head of the new Australian Space Agency said, “This Roadmap introduces some key scientific opportunities which Australia can utilise to drive engagement and growth across the space value chain.”

“Together, the Australian Space Agency, CSIRO and other key partners will drive the full potential of our nation’s capabilities and competitive advantages, optimising our R & D opportunities and targeting growth across the space value chain to build a space sector of which all Australians can be proud.”