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Queensland Invests in Space Tech

Queensland’s burgeoning space industry has received a major boost with the announcement of a significant investment by the government in a Gold Coast-based space tech firm. The region’s Treasurer and Minister for Investment said the funding would bolster the space tech firm’s latest round of private investment, which has secured $61 million from around the world.

The government’s Space Industry Strategy is all about harnessing the opportunity presented by the rapidly evolving global space industry. The investment in the tech firm is the first made through the Queensland Investment Corporation and our Business Investment Fund, which aims to support job creation and innovation from small-and-medium-sized businesses as we deliver our plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.

The investment supported the government’s Space Industry Strategy 2020-25. The aim is to position Queensland as the nation’s ‘space coast’ and Australasia’s leading centre for launch activities, ground systems, Earth observation, niche manufacturing, robotics and space automation. The injection of growth capital into the space tech company through the Business Investment Fund will fuel the race to win its share of the $1 trillion global space economy.

The CEO and co-founder of the space tech firm welcomed QIC’s participation in the Series C raise. This investment will directly support the growth of Australia’s sovereign space and manufacturing capabilities. The funding will help the company work with more local suppliers, hire more graduates, and retrain more skilled workers from other industries to help us build and launch Australian-made rockets and satellites from Queensland.

The Treasurer said the government’s investment would help propel the next stage of space tech company’s path to orbit by:

  • Funding the construction of the space tech firm’s unique Eris rockets featuring new and innovative hybrid propulsion technologies
  • Building sovereign satellite and rocket manufacturing capabilities so 80 per cent of the launch vehicles are constructed in Helensvale on the Gold Coast, drawing on a localised supply chain
  • Boosting the space tech firm’s team from around 70 employees to more than 100 by end of the year and 120 by the end of 2022
  • Provide financial ‘firepower’ to build ‘roads into space’, with larger, government co-funded deals initiating new launch sites

The investment constellation for funding the space industry is bright in Queensland, with the state offering the natural ability to host launch sites as well as draw on the strong local talent and supply chains to boost growth.

The Business Investment Fund is part of the government’s $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund, which includes a range of programs designed to entice businesses to move or expand their operations here in Queensland and unlock growth across industries and supply chains to deliver better economic outcomes and create new jobs.

Queensland’s Space Industry Strategy 2020-25

Queensland recently launched the Queensland Space Industry Strategy. Opportunities are growing across the globe in space capabilities and systems – and Queensland is well-positioned to further harness its potential.

By 2025, Queensland’s space industry will be recognised as a leading centre in Australasia for launch activities, ground systems, Earth observation, niche manufacturing, robotics and automation for space. The Queensland Space Industry Strategy informs its actions to grow Queensland’s space industry:

Strengthen Queensland’s existing capabilities by supporting:

  • infrastructure capability
  • human capability
  • commercial capability.

Grow Queensland’s industry by connecting it to new markets:

  • connecting industry to international markets
  • connecting industry to the greater supply chain
  • leveraging downstream industries.

The strategy is looking to the future. It aims to add between $3.5 and $6 billion to Queensland’s economy and up to 6,000 jobs by 2036.

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