Australian businesses gain access to space data

Friday 11 Jun 2021

The Morrison Government is helping small businesses to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing space sector, with the recent opening of the Australian Space Data Analysis Facility (ASDAF) in Western Australia.

The facility – delivered by the Pawsey Supercomputer Centre in partnership with the Western Australia Data Science Innovation Hub – provides businesses with access to the latest satellite data sets, as well as the tools and training they need to analyse that information and develop new commercial opportunities.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the uses for satellite data were almost limitless, but the costs associated with accessing and analysing big data sets was a barrier to small businesses entering the space sector.

“The potential uses for this data are diverse and extremely important for our everyday lives, including helping farmers increase crop yields and manage drought, to mapping supply chains and freight movements, or improving management of environmental impacts in forestry and mining,” Minister Porter said.

“Through the data analysis facility, we are opening the door for small businesses to enter the market, with the goal of stimulating innovation and accelerating commercialisation of new products and services.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said space data and Earth observation analysis have historically been a specialised application in the private sector. “Putting the right space data, tools and capabilities in the hands of business has the potential to drive down costs, increase productivity, create new value and grow the economy,” Mr Palermo said.

The Australian Space Data Analysis Facility is funded through the Australian Government’s AU$19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund, designed to increase capability and fill gaps in Australia’s space infrastructure. The Facility is also supported by the Western Australian Government, through an AU$750,000 commitment to grow the state’s space industry.

Since 1 July 2018, the Australian Government has invested more than AU$700 million into the Australian civil space sector under the goal to triple the sector’s size to AU$12 billion and create up to an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.

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