Today, the state of South Australia announced the setting up of the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC), the nation’s first centre dedicated to growing the local space economy.
SASIC will come under the Space Industry Office at Defence SA, the state’s government agency for defence, and will aim to drive space industry innovation, research and entrepreneurial development. Part of this will be to provide funding of up to $1 million every year to young space entrepreneurs, along with new and existing space start-ups.
Initially, the centre will be staffed by a director, aerospace specialist and senior project officer, who will be supported by a representative from Department of State Development and Investment Attraction SA.
Said Minister for Defence and Space Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith, “South Australia is working to establish itself as a hub for space industry research and development. We’re not talking about an agency the size of NASA that sends people to the moon. We are looking at capabilities that benefit society, communications and national security”.
The announcement comes ahead of the 68th International Astronautical Congress being hosted in Adelaide, South Australia, next week. It is also a gesture showing the state’s commitment towards setting up a national space agency, which it – along with other states and industry players – has been advocating over the past few months.
Said Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, “”South Australia has always been a national leader in space innovation…We are continuing this national leadership through opening the South Australian Space Industry Centre – the only centre of its kind in Australia – as we continue calls for the Federal Government to establish a National Space Agency”.
He added, “SASIC will deliver opportunities for manufacturers to transition to a high growth sector, enable start-ups to flourish, and create jobs of the future”.