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Space Agency boosting industry, inspiring future generations

The new Australian Space Agency is set to move into Lot Fourteen in late December, firmly establishing Adelaide as the epicentre of the growing Australian space industry.

It will be co-located with the SmartSatCRC, Mission Control, the Space Discovery Centre in the McEwin Building and will join space businesses already established at Lot Fourteen - Internet of Things pioneer Myriota, nanosatellite maker Inovor Technologies and rocket propulsion researcher Neumann Space, along with the Defence and Space Landing Pad, which supports international businesses to enter the South Australian market.

The state government is now seeking an international space company or organisation to take up a prime tenancy in the McEwin Building to leverage collaboration opportunities and contribute to the economic growth of SA through direct investment and the creation of new, highly skilled jobs.

FIXE, the Future Industries eXchange for Entrepreneurship, talked to two industry insiders about what the Australian Space Agency’s arrival means for SA's startups, defence primes and innovation more broadly.

“It's the most fascinating time for Adelaide and Australia with regard to the space industry," says Neumann Space CEO Hervé Astier.

“That decision by the Federal Government to have the Australian Space Agency here in Adelaide is absolutely brilliant. It’s not only the space agency, you will also have all the start-ups, all the industry primes, the defence primes and the SmartSat CRC,” he says.

“It puts us on par with other space nations, although we are very young, in terms of talking and doing partnerships. If you don’t have a space agency, it’s difficult to do a deal with another country.

“It puts regulation in place, it creates visibility, it attracts people. We meet people at the moment, who did a space engineering degree ten years ago, and they left because there was nothing in Adelaide or even in Australia and now they are coming back.”

Flavia Tata Nardini, is co-founder and Chief Executive of Fleet Space Technologies, which will launch nanosatellites to connect digital sensors in a range of industries. She is also a member of South Australia’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

Flavia agrees the advent of the Australian Space Agency is a huge boost for the local and national space industry – and will help inspire the next generation of space innovators.

“South Australia really positioned many years ago as a leader of the space industry and then we got a federal space agency and it’s in Adelaide,” she says.

“I don’t think everyone realizes how big this is. We are in the middle of it, so it seems normal to us. But this is huge.

“The most incredible, high tech industry that changes all the others is going to happen here at Lot Fourteen.

“Lot Fourteen is growing in an incredible way.,” Flavia says. “I’m very proud of it. Every time I work there I just feel that I’m honored to be a part of this.

“What I’m interested in is inspiration. Can you imagine all those hundreds of thousands of kids that have got a space agency next door at Lot Fourteen?

“We don’t even know what’s going to happen in the next ten years. It’s going to be amazing. The next ten years are going to be the journey of my kids. So, I’m pretty happy that we can inspire them too."

To see the interviews, go to fixe.org.au

Click here for more information on the McEwin building tenancy: colliers.com.au/lotfourteen

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