Standing up for Canberra

Innovation keeps Australia at forefront of space industry

Canberra will be home to a new Space and Spatial Innovation Partnership that will capitalise on Australia’s position as home to what will be the world’s biggest space project – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The new Space and Spatial Innovation Partnership will receive government funding of up to $6 million to 2016-17 to be matched in cash or in-kind by core partners. It will also have access to further project funding of up to $10 million per year through the Industry Collaboration Fund for innovative projects with commercial potential.

Minister Assisting for Innovation and Industry, Senator Kate Lundy, said this partnership is one of 12 the Rudd Labor Government is establishing to bring on new investment and create high tech, high wage jobs in future industries that diversify Australia’s economy.

“The Partnership aims to help Australia carve out a 2.2 per cent share of the global space and spatial technologies market – growing revenue by up to $12.5 billion annually by 2023 – and creating more than 10,000 new jobs in the sector.

“It is an industry-led initiative backed by government and the research sector that has already attracted ten high level, core partners.

“It is great to see preeminent companies and research bodies such as EOS Space Systems, 43PL, NICTA, NewSat, the Australian National University, Monash University, the University of NSW and Geoscience Australia already on board for this partnership.”

The Space and Spatial Partnership will have headquarters at Mt Stromlo, Canberra and centres across other states in Australia including South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.

The Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, said the Australian Innovation economy for the future.

“Australia has an extraordinary track record in the space industry of punching well above our weight.

"Winning the right to jointly host the SKA project is the latest in a long line of successes that Federal Labor has been proud to support because of the extraordinary opportunities for growth it will create.

“Here in Canberra the expertise of our researchers was recognised again with Professor Brian Schmidt’s pioneering work into the acceleration of our expanding universe awarded a Nobel Prize. 

“This new Partnership will assist industry to overcome barriers to entering international markets and generate direct economic benefits for the many industries that rely on spatial technologies such as agriculture, mining, transport, energy, telecommunications and health.

“The Space and Spatial Innovation Partnership will build vital links between industry, government, defence, research and education to increase productivity, improve efficiencies, grow skill capacity and ensure long-term sustainability and growth of the sector.”

It is part of Federal Labor’s $500 million to establish Innovation Partnerships across Australia as part of our $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs.

This is a plan that the Coalition does not support and will cut. An Abbott Government would dismantle these industry-led and industry-backed partnerships and do away with the private sector investment they are attracting and the tens of thousands of jobs they will create.

Funding for this commitment has been provided in the budget.