Swinburne University of Technology: Swinburne launches $3m Space Tech hub with EY

Protecting our environment, supporting resilient communities, and solving real-world problems will be the focus of a new Space Tech hub created by Swinburne University of Technology and EY Australia.

Supported by $3 million from EY, the hub will leverage Swinburne’s global leadership position in space, its renowned academics and researchers, and innovative technology such as the OzSTAR supercomputer to provide tech solutions to industry partners.

Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute, Professor Alan Duffy, said the pioneering hub was all about applying the knowledge gained from research across the universe to solve complex problems faced on Earth.

“We are excited to be combining Swinburne’s world-leading research, technology and education capabilities with EY’s deep global connections and end-user insights to create sustainable space tech solutions to real-world issues,” Professor Duffy said.

“Through the use of ground-breaking technology, like the Swinburne OzSTAR supercomputer, and our access to the next generation of talent, this partnership will position Australia’s space industry at the forefront of global economic, environmental and social opportunity.”

Solving real world problems
The Space Tech hub will initially have three key focus areas:

Improving community resilience and environmental health
Helping communities and businesses effectively respond to the impact of natural disasters (fire, flood, climate) and climate change-related pressures.
Improving productivity
Boosting the safety and performance for industry partners through the adoption of space technology for managing critical infrastructure and assets under challenging conditions.
Creating an ecosystem to solve problems of national interest
Positioning Australia to lead globally in space technology to resolve issues of climate impact, land management, logistics and defence.
A dedicated EY team of 15 staff – comprised of scientists, data and analytics professionals, and AI specialists – will work on the hub, led by EY partner Anthony Jones, with support from Swinburne talent and technology.

“The Space Tech hub will solve big business problems by utilising space-derived data and services for terrestrial benefit,” Mr Jones said.

“We’ll be leveraging the capability of EY’s own astrophysicists, machine learning engineers and data scientists, as well as working with academics from Swinburne University of Technology, to help solve community resilience issues, drive decarbonisation initiatives, and aid in reducing the impact of natural disasters on communities.”

The hub builds on the Swinburne Space Technology and Industry Institute’s work with the EY Data Science Challenge, developing AI to help spot bushfires from space for the Country Fire Authority.

It forms part of the Institute’s pledge to build the engine room for space innovation and economic growth in a sector projected to be worth $1 trillion globally by 2040.

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