Accelerating NSW's position in the space race

13 May 2014

Professor Iver Cairns (far left) and Dr Xiaofeng Wu (second from far left) are members of the University's SpaceNet, developing leadership in space research.
Professor Iver Cairns (far left) and Dr Xiaofeng Wu (second from far left) are members of the University's SpaceNet, developing leadership in space research.

The chances of NSW companies being able to compete in the highly specialised global space industry have been strengthened with the creation of delta-V, Australia's first space startup accelerator.

The initiative brings together the University of Sydney's SpaceNet with NSW-based space technology companies Saber Astronautics and Launchbox Australia as well as the University of NSW's Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research.

This startup accelerator will provided mentoring, business and strategic advice, and access to investors, capital and other startups for inspiration and exchanges.

The collaboration between industry and the research sector is designed to -encourage the development and commercialisation of new technologies in NSW's fledgling space industry.

The delta-V announcement was made by the NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner during the launch of the 2014 CeBIT ICT tradeshow, Asia Pacific's leading tech tradeshow, at Sydney Olympic Park this month.

The University of Sydney's SpaceNet brings a strong focus on Earth observations from space.

"Earth observation data and services are increasingly important to Australia's defence, economy, environmental stewardship, governance, security, and society. Imagine, for instance, modern Australia without earth observations and GPS data for accurate weather prediction, disaster and environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, and mineral exploration," said Professor Iver Cairns, leader of SpaceNet and from the University's School of Physics.

"Currently SpaceNet members are pursuing world-leading space technologies including robots, system miniaturisation, novel analyses of 'blue carbon' in marine tidal environments and quantification of global economic losses associated with space weather events." - Professor Cairns

SpaceNet includes staff and students from six Schools, ranging from Aerospace Engineering to Geoscience and Physics, across the University's faculties of Agriculture and Environment, Engineering and IT, and Science. Research centres involved include the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, the Institute for Sustainability Research, and the Sydney Institute for Marine Science.

"We want to help develop a sustainable Australian space industry with our delta-V partners. With cubesats, miniature satellites made up of mostly off-the-shelf components in 10cm cubic modules weighing less than two kilograms, the barriers for Australian companies to enter the global space industry are very small, much less than $1 million," said Professor Cairns.

"This is our opportunity. We intend to use it and to help new start-ups and other Australian companies and universities use it too."

The NSW Government is supporting the industry-led formation of the accelerator through its Innovate NSW and Bridging the Gap programs.

Contact: Tom Gordon

Phone: 02 93513201

Email: 270a3e471617152e3f0a383d111724371856073221575046