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Expert review of Australia’s space industry capabilities to participate in global market

This article is reproduced from the website of 
Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science


The Australian Government today announced it will review the nation’s space industry capability to develop a long-term plan to grow this important and exciting sector.

The Australian Government today announced it will review the nation’s space industry capability to develop a long-term plan to grow this important and exciting sector.

I am pleased to announce that the review of Australia’s space industry capability will be led by an Expert Review Group, chaired by former CSIRO chief executive Dr Megan Clark AC.

This group brings together a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds.

The space industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52 per cent from 1998 to 2015, more than three times the annual growth rate of world GDP in the same period. Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 billion.

The Australian Government wants to ensure the right framework and mix of incentives are in place to assist Australia’s growing space industry sector to participate successfully in this global market.

The review will consult widely and examine Australia’s current capability and areas of comparative advantage, as well as our regional and international collaboration within the sector. Importantly, it will also consider how the space industry sector aligns with other sectors and Government priorities.

I believe that Australia can participate in the global space sector and through development of the technical capability and knowledge required for this demanding sector, we will develop skills to grow other advanced manufacturing industries in Australia.

This review is timely, given the current pace of change in the international space sector and advances in technologies that provide an environment that encourages commercial investment in space activities.

It will provide a strategic framework for the Australian space sector that supports leadership, innovation, opportunity and entrepreneurship, along with our broader national interest.

The review will commence with the first meeting of the Expert Reference Group on 20 July 2017 and will be completed by the end of March 2018.

The membership of the Expert Reference Group brings together a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds and the Terms of Reference of the group focus on understanding the opportunities and capabilities within the space industry, as well as how the Australian space industry sector aligns with other sectors and Government priorities.

Terms of Reference for a Review of Space Industry Capability

The Australian Government (Government) has announced a review of Australia’s space industry capability which will lead to a national strategy for the sector that reflects both our developing strengths and national interests over the next decade. Ensuring that the right strategic framework is in place to support the growth of Australian’s space industry will be core to the review process.

This review builds on the existing Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy (2013) and the findings from the recently completed review of the Space Activities Act 1998.  Reform of the space legislation is now underway to reflect advances in technologies and provide a regulatory environment that is appropriately conducive to commercial investment in the space sector.  It is therefore timely for the Government to review its civil space policy and refine its strategic, long-term plans for this important sector.

The review will be undertaken under the direction of an Expert Reference Group (ERG) chaired by Dr Megan Clark AC. 

Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability Terms of Reference

The Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability will build on the principles set out in the existing Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy (2013) by developing a strategic framework for the Australian space sector that supports leadership, innovation, opportunity and entrepreneurship across the sector along with our broader national interests.

The Review will specifically address the following matters:

  • identifying Australia’s current industry capability and areas of comparative advantage for Australia to develop,

  • technologies and practices that promote innovation in both the downstream (users of space technologies) and upstream (providers of space technologies) elements of space activities, particularly in areas of niche capability and competitive advantage,

  • Australia’s level of regional engagement and international collaboration, including identifying critical future and existing partnerships,

  • identifying capability gaps to support the global competitiveness of Australian firms in the civil space sector,

  • strategies to promote Australian firms engaged in the civil space sector, both domestically and internationally,

  • risks and opportunities, including ongoing access to space data and associated infrastructure essential to our national interests,

  • alignment with other sectors and Australian Government priorities, including Defence and cyber security, and meeting Australia’s international obligations, and

  • the most effective institutional arrangements to support the strategic direction of Australia’s space industry

Consultations with key stakeholders and state jurisdictions will be conducted as part of this review with a focus on the matters set out above.

The review will commence from July 2017 and be completed by end March 2018.

Expert Reference Group

Chair

Dr Megan Clark AC

Expert Reference Group Members

Prof Russell Boyce

Mr Michael Davis

Dr David Williams

Dr Stuart Minchin

Prof Steven Freeland

Prof Anna Moore

Dr Jason Held

Ms Flavia Tata Nardini

Media contacts: Minister Sinodinos' office 026277 7070

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