South Australia’s New Space Economy

Forget about the next frontier, the rapidly accelerating new space economy has arrived in South Australia and is set to change the space industry landscape as we know it.

Over the past month we’ve seen an avalanche of game-changing headlines that have been centred around the Australian Space Agency based in Adelaide.

The highly anticipated announcement of the world first ‘Space Bridge’ between UK and Australian Space Agencies was one of the first positive news stories rolled out in recent weeks.

The proposed ‘Space Bridge’, borne out of the highly successful ‘FinTech Bridge’ already in existence between the UK and Australia, will unlock greater collaboration between governments, regulators and industry.

Dr Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency said, “The UK’s space heritage has strong links to Australia, with the first British rockets lifting off from Woomera [South Australia] in the 1950s, and we are committed to strengthening our friendship and partnership.”

“A Space Bridge agreement will bring significant benefits to both our thriving space industries, facilitating new trade and investment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.”

The announcement set the tone for the New Space Economy event hosted the same week by the Australia-Untied Kingdom Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Office of the Agent General.

The sold out session explored the acceleration of activity and innovation in the space domain and it’s far-reaching implications across multiple sectors including health, manufacturing, mining and energy as passionately highlighted by speakers, Australian Space Agency’s Karl Rodrigues and UK Space Agency’s Dr Alice Bunn.

This laid the foundations for the 8th Space Forum held days later in Adelaide which saw key players in the industry gather to discuss the latest trends, technology and opportunities in space.

The big news to come from the conference was American company Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems will establish a space vehicle manufacturing facility in South Australia’s Lot Fourteen adding to a growing innovation neighbourhood.

This was followed by South Korean company Perigee Aerospace’s new deal with South Australian space innovator Southern Launch which will launch satellites from the planned rocket launch facility on the Eyre Peninsula.

While space can seem like a dark and infinite mass of the uncertain, we can be sure of one thing – a strong and collaborative relationship between the UK and Australia will see South Australian industry transformed creating technology, skills and jobs in a vibrant sector.

It’s time to strap in because South Australia’s burgeoning space sector is taking off.

Bill Muirhead AM speaks to Dr Alice Bunn, International Director, UK Space Agency