Space industry hub set to launch Victorian expertise into global markets

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President at RMIT University

A new Space Industry Hub at RMIT University will connect local companies and researchers to global opportunities in space technology.

The Victorian Government’s $1 million just announced for the Hub is being matched by $1 million from SmartSat CRC, significant technical and training support from Amazon Web Services (AWS), and industry engagement backing from FrontierSI.

How will the Space Industry Hub at RMIT benefit?

This funding will establish several flagship research projects aimed at connecting local capability with booming space industry markets both in Australia and globally.

The Hub will also host the Victorian node of the SmartSat CRC – a national consortium of industry and research organisations developing game-changing space technologies.

RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Aleksandar Subic said, “The Hub’s primary focus was to help local companies – from agriculture and transport to logistics and manufacturing – develop new technologies, skills and capabilities using satellite data.”

“The RMIT Space Industry Hub will be a launch pad and an industrial solutions incubator to support collaboration and innovation for Victoria’s space industry growth,” Subic said.

“At the core of this growth are digital technologies and leveraging the state’s strong capabilities in advanced manufacturing.”

Significantly, the Hub will provide affordable access to real-time satellite data for industry collaborators through AWS Ground Station.

Users control their satellite communications, process data, and scale their operations without worrying about building or managing ground station infrastructure.

What are the Space Industry Hub’s investors’ remarks?

AWS Country Director for Public Sector in ANZ, Iain Rouse said, “Improved access to satellite data helps drive innovation and provide new market opportunities for Australian businesses.”

“When space is accessible and cost-effective, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. AWS is excited to help the Space Industry Hub accelerate their research, innovation, and capability development in space,” Rouse said.

Andy Koronios CEO of SmartSat CRC said, “This major step for the state of Victoria was part of a national effort to become leaders in the space economy.”

“We are delighted that the Victorian Government has made this investment, which with SmartSat co-investment will help spark innovation and develop technologies to leverage the huge opportunities the space economy offers,” he said.

“SmartSat CRC nodes will provide opportunities for joint projects to leverage national and international space collaborative initiatives such as NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Program, UK Space Bridge, state government space industry investments and CRC-P grants.”

Dr Graeme Kernich,CEO of FrontierSI said, “Collaborative sector roadmaps are being developed to guide researchers and local industries to capitalise on space industry opportunities.”

The Space Industry Hub provides the opportunity to connect Victoria’s world-leading research and solution providers with the challenges and opportunities of the global space sector.”

“We are delighted that this strategic collaboration intends to leverage innovative space technologies into impactful solutions used by industry,” Kernich said.

The Hub will make the most of RMIT’s existing facilities, services and research centres, as well as its innovation networks through RMIT Europe and the university’s entrepreneurship and innovation unit, RMIT Activator.

“With our strong research capabilities in data science, space engineering and geospatial science, our strategic industry partnerships and our global reach, RMIT is well placed to host this Hub and help grow the Victorian space industry,” Subic said.

The Australian Research Council rates RMIT’s engineering, artificial intelligence and computer science research, among other areas, as well above world standard, while the Geospatial World Forum has named RMIT Geospatial Research Institute of the Year.