Australia kicks off investment strategy in the space sector
Australia has kicked off an important investment strategy in the space sector. South Australia is becoming consolidated as the State that concentrates most of the Country’s investments in this area. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, the announcement was made that the Australian Space Agency (ASA) will be established in Adelaide, in the State of South Australia.
However, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, has instructed the ASA to continue engaging with all the Country’s States and territories and to explore investment opportunities throughout the Nation, acknowledging that the ASA’s success will depend on making a serious effort, both nationally and internationally, and the creation of global partnerships open to the space researchers and industry. The dimension of the Australian space market is estimated to be worth 2.5 billion euros (0.8% of the overall global market) and to employ approximately 11,500 people. In its Business plan, the ASA plans to triple its budget by 2030 and increase its employees to almost 20,000.
In addition to ASA, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian counterpart to Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) in terms of internal organisation, is investing almost 22 million euros in “frontier” research in the field of space technology and artificial intelligence (AI).
The Government of South Australia has also launched a project to create a new type of visa called StartUp for new foreign entrepreneurs and investors with an innovative idea and business plan wanting to establish their businesses in the State. This new visa will not require a mandatory financial payment and applicants will only have to prove they master professional English. Applications will be examined by the State or Federal Government and those who will successfully establish their business in Australia will be able to apply for permanent residency.
At present, South Australia is the only State of the Federation to have developed and published its own strategy for space innovation and growth, with an Action Plan going up to 2020 (https://www.sasic.sa.gov.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/sasic-action-plan.pdf).