RMIT: Space Industry Hub set to launch Victorian expertise into global markets

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.

This funding will establish several flagship research projects aimed at connecting local capability with booming space industry markets both here and abroad, especially in the United States and Europe.

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 for STEM and Vice President Digital Innovation, 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. This service allows users to control their satellite communications, process data, and scale their operations without having to worry about building or managing ground station infrastructures.

AWS Country Director for Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand, Iain Rouse, said this improved access to satellite data would help drive innovation and provide new market opportunities for Australian businesses.

“When space is made 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.

CEO of SmartSat CRC, Andy Koronios, said this major step for 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 around Australia 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.”

CEO of FrontierSI, Dr Graeme Kernich, said collaborative sector roadmaps were being developed to guide researchers and local industries in how 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,” Kernich said.

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

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.

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