3 mins read 03 Aug 2021

NSW Space Research Network to be Established

The NSW Space Research Network is set to be established as a university-led initiative which aims to foster collaborations between the government, industry and academic research institutions in the space sector. 

The NSW Space Research Network will be located in Tech Central in the heart of Sydney. Credit: Bernard Gagnon.

The New South Wales Government has announced \$1.4 million in funding to establish the NSW Space Research Network (SRN). The SRN is a university-led initiative which will see collaborations between government, industry, and academic research institutions in the space sector. The SRN will be co-hosted by The University of Sydney  and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and will be located in Sydney’s Innovation and Technology Precinct, known as Tech Central.

“The new Network will support collaboration between government and industry to deliver space-focused research outcomes and research translation for NSW, Australia and the world,” said SRN co-Director, Professor Robert Fitch of UTS. 

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the SRN  builds on the NSW Space Industry Development Strategy of 2020, which outlined a \$5 million plan to support and grow NSW’s space industry. 

“This investment will bring together universities, industry and government to tackle space challenges, translate vital research into commercial space products, attract investment, upskill graduates and drive growth in high-tech jobs,” Mr Ayres said.

“The Network will position NSW enterprise to compete in the space sector by connecting key stakeholders to undertake [research and development] activities with a focus on translation and impact,” said another SRN co-Director, Professor Stefan Williams of UTS. 

One of the purposes of the SRN will be to deliver space research and research translation to the space industry. It will also focus on positioning NSW as a nationally and internationally competitive space research and development center by leveraging significant funding opportunities and connecting with key stakeholders. 

NSW already plays a significant role in the Australian space sector, being home to more than a third of Australia’s space startups, and boasting impressive credentials, infrastructures, and research centres. 

“NSW offers an extensive network of ground stations including CSIRO’s Australian Telescope National Facility installations at Narrabri, Coonabarabran and Parkes, the Optus Earth Station in Sydney and the Commonwealth Government’s defence satellite station in Wagga Wagga,” Mr Ayres said.

“The Network will build on NSW’s cutting-edge space [research and development] to support NSW enterprise to compete both locally and globally by leveraging significant domestic and international funding opportunities.”