New space strategy to guide industry development

Canberra has launched a comprehensive space strategy outlining national priorities and regulatory reform needed create a viable local industry sector.

The 10-year Australian Civil Space Strategy was launched as part of the 2019 federal budget.

The head of the Australian Space Agency, Megan Clarke said the strategy laid the foundations for a local industry including multi-national missions and future manned space flight.

She said: “Australia has a strong and dynamic space sector, with high ambitions, great potential characterised by creativity, entrepreneurship, and a sense of discovery.

“This Strategy provides the certainty of a long-term framework around which the sector can plan its activities.”

The Strategy is built on four Strategic Space Pillars:

# open the door internationally;

# develop national capability in areas of competitive advantage;

# ensure safety and national interest are addressed;

# and inspire and improve the lives of all Australians.

The 2018 budget contained funding for satellite programmes and research by CSIRO, as well as establishing the space agency.

The 2019 budget added $19.5 million over four years to establish a Space Infrastructure Fund.

The strategy aims to stimulate commercial investment in the sector.

However it noted that start-ups and growing space businesses face challenges accessing investment and venture capital markets.

Limited information was available to support investors to evaluate investment decisions.

The strategy said: “(And) Australian space businesses face a range of market barriers that limit growth, for example physical distance from markets, and limited or incomplete local value chains.”

Picture: Australia’s first satellite WRESAT ready for launch from Woomera

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