QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, September 23, 2021 – Satellites with sensors and cameras that detect bushfires within minutes, provide real-time crop data to farmers, connect our remote towns and communities; and rockets that provide valuable access to space from Australia…these are just some of the ‘real world’ capabilities possible with space technology today.
The good news is that innovations like these are already being developed by researchers and companies in Australia. “However, the Space industry is still very new relative to other industry pillars, and it lacks the funding and basic infrastructure to support it,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, a leading space SME that is planning to launch the first Australian-made rockets and satellites to orbit next year.
Recognising the growing market opportunities for new space products and services, over 30 of Australia’s leading space manufacturers, universities and supply chain companies (listed below) are supporting a $150 million bid for the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative - Collaboration (MMIC) stream.
The Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN) – led by Gilmour Space with backing from the Queensland Government – aims to establish three new space facilities, centred in Queensland: (1) a common test and manufacturing facility, enabling members to advance their space research and technology development at lower cost; (2) an advanced manufacturing facility for building commercial rockets and satellites, anchored by Gilmour Space; (3) an orbital spaceport at Abbot Point near Bowen in North Queensland, that will help bring many of these products to space.
“With participation from six states and territories in Australia, we see this as a genuinely industry-led project that will provide the framework and infrastructure needed to unlock collaborations, create jobs and capability, attract private investment, and advance Australian space technologies from initial concept through to commercialisation and launch,” said Mr Gilmour.
Among the ASMN founding members are Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria; Space Machines Company and Neumann Space in South Australia; Electro Optic Systems and Greatcell Energy in the ACT; Spiral Blue in New South Wales; the ARM Hub and Griffith University in Queensland; and a number of international space companies, such as SatRevolution from Poland and mu Space from Thailand, which are looking to set up operations in Australia and provide export and supply chain opportunities to local companies.
“Australian space manufacturing facilities will unlock Australia’s true potential as a respected space faring nation," said Glen Tindall, CEO of EOS Communications Systems. "The Australian Space Manufacturing Network and the diverse range of partners it brings together, demonstrates the end-to-end benefit these types of facilities will have across Australia and beyond."
Dr Cori Stewart, CEO of ARM Hub, added: “For Australia’s manufacturing future, we need to do bigger business together. As a key partner in the Australian Space Manufacturing Network, ARM Hub will be catalysing commercialisation through industry access to the nation’s expertise, de-risking technology adoption and building workforce digital capability, collaboratively.”
"With the global space economy expected to grow to a trillion dollars by 2030, the MMIC will provide timely support for our emerging space manufacturers to develop and mature significant, and globally competitive, space capabilities in Australia,” said Mr Gilmour.
The ASMN proposal has been submitted to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
ASMN Founding Members 1. Gilmour Space Technologies (QLD) – Lead Proposer 2. Electro Optic Systems (ACT) – Co-Proposer 3. ARM Hub (QLD) 4. Amaero Engineering (VIC) 5. AROSE (WA) 6. Central Queensland University (QLD) 7. Common (VIC) 8. DEWC Systems (SA) 9. Earth Observation Australia (QLD) 10. Freelance Robotics (QLD) 11. Greatcell Australia (ACT) 12. Griffith University (QLD) 13. Hetech (QLD) 14. Infinite Engineering (VIC) 15. James Cook University (QLD) 16. Laserdyne Technologies (QLD) 17. LatConnect 60 (WA) 18. Marand Precision Engineering (VIC) 19. Myriota (SA) 20. Neumann Space (SA) 21. Regional Development Australia, Brisbane (QLD) 22. Romar Scalable Manufacturing Solutions (NSW) 23. SatRevolution (Poland) 24. Space Machines Company (SA) 25. Space Services Australia (NSW) 26. Spiral Blue (NSW) 27. Swinburne University of Technology (VIC) 28. TAFE Queensland (QLD) 29. Queensland Robotics (QLD) 30. Valiant Space (QLD) 31. 3ME Technology (NSW) …and others Supporting Companies Airbus (AUS) Boeing (AUS) ...and others
NB: This release was edited on Oct 11 to include mu Space with permission from their board.