Global space players touch down for SA’s largest space forum

22 November

Key international space players will connect with some of the state’s most innovative start-ups and companies at the largest ever South Australian Government-hosted space forum in Adelaide today.

The fourth South Australia Space Forum, hosted by the newly established South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC), will bring together around 250 local and international guests, including industry and educational leaders, entrepreneurs and researchers.

US-based satellite company Planet will headline a list of high-profile international space organisations attending the forum, which will boost collaboration in the space sector and builds on the momentum generated from the International Astronautical Congress which was held in Adelaide in September.

Coinciding with today’s forum, SASIC will officially launch its new South Australian Space Portal, an interactive digital platform connecting the wider space community.

The fourth South Australia Space Forum, held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, includes a full day of talks and presentations from local and international space organisations, including speakers from organisations such as Planet, CSIRO, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, Korean company APSI, Italian company SITAEL and New Zealand’s Centre for Space Science and Technology.

The SA Space Portal is an initiative of South Australia’s space strategy and enables users to connect, share ideas and stay up-to-date with the latest news in the space sector. To register for the portal visit: www.sasic.sa.gov.au

South Australia’s space industry is entering an exciting period of growth and development, with an estimated 800 people actively engaged in the space sector, including more than 460 employees working directly in local space companies. The number of space companies more than tripled from nine to 32 between 2000 and 2017, including six new companies being established in the last 18 months. This is in addition to 30 other space-related organisations in SA including Universities and research centres.

The SASIC was recently established to support the state’s emerging space industry by providing funding of up to $4 million over four years to young space entrepreneurs, along with new and existing space start-ups.

South Australia’s space capabilities were showcased to the world when Adelaide hosted the 68th International Astronautical Congress in September. Shortly after, the SA Aerospace Innovation Complex consortium – made up of more than 15 Australian space sector start-ups – was formed to establish local test facilities.

Planet is a private company, founded in the USA in 2010 by a team of ex-NASA scientists, which employs 480 people in offices around the world. They have launched over 300 satellites and currently operate 200 medium and high resolution satellites.

Acting Defence and Space Industries Minister Kyam Maher said today’s forum is a fantastic opportunity to showcase South Australia’s growing space industry and build on the momentum generated from the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide.

“With international space players, including Planet, SITAEL and APSI, attending the conference, it is clear that South Australia is having an impact on a global audience when it comes to the space industry,” Mr Maher said.

“South Australia is leading the space race in this country, being the first state to create a space industry centre to support our growing number of space companies and workers, and the first to appoint a dedicated Space Industry Minister. We already have an estimated 800 people actively engaged in the sector.

“We’re taking advantage of the global space economy will create investment opportunities and jobs of the future, enabling today’s workers and the next generation of workers access to a high technology, high growth sector.”

Planet Vice President Shankar Sivaprakasam said he is delighted to be participating at the South Australia Space Forum.

“Planet has partnered with Nova Systems, a local SA company with a reputation for innovation, to bring the (San Francisco) Bay Area innovation in Earth Observation (EO) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Australia in general, and South Australia in particular,” Mr Sivaprakasam said.

“Planet is also excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC) to help build a space innovation ecosystem.”