We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

UniSA to Co-Develop Space Tech at New Hub

Image Credits: UniSA, Press Release

UniSA is one of three universities and 23 industry partners tasked with building a sovereign space industry for Australia, involving rockets and launch facilities, rapid satellite manufacturing, communication technologies and integrated sensing systems. The University will, thus, play a major role in the AU$ 180m national space manufacturing hub announced recently.

iLAUNCH hub, supported through the Trailblazer Universities Program, is led by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Together with the Australian National University (ANU) and UniSA, the hub and its industry partners will drive the commercialisation of space research in Australia.

The Federal Government has committed AU$ 50 million from its Trailblazer Universities Program and the remainder will come from cash and in-kind from the three universities and industry partners. UniSA Industry Associate Professor Colin Hall will lead the South Australian node, hosting three core projects involving five industry partners, valued at AU$ 20 million over four years.

Teaming up with manufacturing specialists and Defence Science Technology Group (DSTG), UniSA will develop the next generation of 3D printed materials to build compact optical systems for satellites. This research will result in a ‘satellite selfie stick,’ improving ground observation and communications with earth, Assoc Prof Hall said.

A Port Adelaide firm will also set up a 3D print facility with UniSA for lightweight satellite components, using the latest electron beam melting technology deployed to print turbine blades for jet aircraft.

Working closely with a leading Australian Defence and Space company, UniSA will also manufacture laser mirrors and filters that can handle high-powered lasers, reducing Australia’s reliance on overseas suppliers, and speeding up manufacturing time.

All projects will be supported by CSIRO through additional funding. It is estimated that the new hub will generate more than $3.65 billion in economic benefits across Australia through the creation of thousands of space engineering jobs.

The project will support university staff in commercialising their research and strengthen collaborations with industry, both of which are necessary to build a sovereign space capability in Australia. “It is a wonderful opportunity for us, and our industry partners, to commercialise technology to grow Australia’s space manufacturing capability,”  Assoc Prof Hall said.

Together with USQ and ANU, UniSA we will cement Australia’s reputation as a major player on the global space stage. The UniSA Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, says being part of the USQ-led space manufacturing hub is a natural alignment for UniSA. She noted that UniSA works closely with the Australian Space Agency, headquartered in Adelaide; they initiated the SmartSatCRC, and are at the forefront of new satellite technology being developed, which will dovetail nicely with the Trailblazer Universities Program.

About the Associate Professor Colin Hall 

On 24 November 2021, the Australian Prime Minister announced an investment of AU$ 242.7 million to support select universities to boost prioritised research and development and drive commercialisation outcomes with industry partners from 2021-22 until 2025-26. This includes a total of AU$ 30 million for participating universities to partner with CSIRO and access specialist equipment to supercharge their research translation and commercialisation capabilities.

The Trailblazer Universities Program will comprise a select group of universities with dedicated investment to accelerate Australia’s innovation agenda at-speed and at-scale. Participating universities will demonstrate:

  • Commitment to supercharging world-leading capability behind a nominated National Manufacturing Priority (defence, space, food and beverage, medical products, recycling and clean energy, and resources technology and critical minerals technology)
  • Use of open, collaborative IP agreements that are attractive for the industry
  • Use of incentives and rewards for research staff who engage with industry and commercialise research
  • Co-funding commitments from industry partners, and proactive engagement with businesses
  • Opportunities and pathways that promote strong industry engagement and job-ready skills, including the development of educational qualifications and pathways with the Vocational and Education Training (VET) sector.
Send this to a friend