Space and spatial collaborations strengthened with SmartSat CRC funding announced

MELBOURNE, MONDAY 15 APRIL 2019: Today, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, announced that the Smart Satellite Cooperative Research Centre (SmartSat CRC) will receive $55 million in funding through the Cooperative Research Centre Programme for the next seven years.

Dr Graeme Kernich, FrontierSI CEO welcomes the announcement.

“FrontierSI is delighted to be a core partner of the SmartSat CRC. We will apply our expertise, gained from running one of the most successful CRCs in the CRC Programme history, to strengthen the connection between space and spatial and establish a demand-driven, thriving space industry,” Kernich said.

“Space and spatial are intrinsically linked, with spatial often creating the demand for new space infrastructure,” he said. “The Australian Space Agency announcement was the first turning point. The SmartSat CRC being successful in this CRC round is the second. We will build on this momentum. We will use our strong pedigree of developing industry growth from within the CRC program to ensure the downstream applications of space are optimised and can be accessed by all sectors.”

Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez, Projects and Strategy Manager, who worked on the bid on behalf of FrontierSI, said there has never been so much activity in the space sector in Australia.

“Everyone is focussed on realising the potential opportunities of the space sector,” Rodriguez said. “The SmartSat CRC will provide insights into where the latest developments should be and separate the hype from reality. A key challenge will be changing the perception that we, in Australia, are mere ‘users of space’. The spatial sector in Australia has a key role to play in the demand generation of space-based downstream applications,” she said.

“The SmartSat CRC will be a vital part of the fledging space industry in our nation, bringing together government, industry and academia to work on the big R&D challenges. FrontierSI’s role will be to look at the research through a broader lens and help create further demand for Earth observation data and analytics across agriculture, mining, logistics and environmental management of natural disasters, such as fire and floods,” Kernich said.

“We are pleased the SmartSat CRC comprises some of our industry partners, has links to New Zealand and involves some of our key university partners RMIT, Curtin, QUT and UNSW.

“Our entire team is looking forward to working with the SmartSat CRC, connecting space and spatial, enabling technology for user applications and importantly maximising space utilisation for the benefit of the Australian people and economy.”

The SmartSat CRC is a collaborative research effort based at the University of South Australia that will provide enhanced connectivity, navigation and monitoring capability of our country and its resources by solving major satellite system and advanced communications challenges. It will catapult Australia as a leader in niche areas of intelligent satellite systems, advanced communications and earth observation driven data analytics.

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For Interview: Dr Graeme Kernich, FrontierSI CEO
P: Stephanie Pradier, Communication Manager, FrontierSI, +61 424 568 314,