Australian National University launches InSpace to bridge industry and academia

Image courtesy of InSpace.

On 23 October, the Australian National University (ANU) launched its new institute Insitute for Space (InSpace), which will bring together technology, science and law research to advance Australia’s space industry.

ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said the new space institute will have a multidisciplinary approach for Australia to expand its commercial and scientific interests in the space industry.

“The space industry is a rapidly growing area in business and research, and with any emerging industry, comes legal and social challenges,” Professor Schmidt said.

“The new Institute will be the front door to space activities and capabilities across the University, including technology R&D, science missions, space test facilities, commercial space law, and business and finance initiatives relating to space”, he added.

InSpace aims to drive co-investment with industry and government partners and focus on cross-disciplinary projects and initiatives to support Australian space business development.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, said “InSpace will serve as a bridge between academia and industry, and is designed to drive co-investment between industry and government partners in space projects.”

InSpace will be led by Professor Anna Moore from ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

“Like all challenges we’re facing now, the solution is never one-sided. That’s why we’ll be working with researchers from the ANU College of Law, research schools of mathematics, physics, earth sciences, computer sciences and our colleagues in public policy and national security research areas,” Professor Moore said.

Dean of ANU College of Law Professor Sally Wheeler said legal regulation is in a difficult position with technology and innovation, and space is more accessible than envisaged by the international treaty makers 50 years ago.

“Law, in any situation, needs to be able to offer a regime that protects from harm but does not stifle innovation,” Professor Wheeler said. “Lawyers and scientists have to be able to talk to each in terms that both can understand in order to shape regulation going forward.”

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