Training businesses on how to use space data and data collected through observation of the Earth will be a key feature of the Australian Space Data Analysis Facility, officially launched this week in Western Australia.
The new facility, managed by the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and Western Australian Data Science Innovation Hub and assisted by the Curtin Institute for Computation, will provide access to space data and tools, training and capacity building, and analytical expertise to stimulate innovation.
It is expected to be a catalyst for growth and innovation among Australian businesses, with better access to space and Earth-observation data stimulating innovation and accelerating commercialisation of new products and services.
The facility will offer small- and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to leverage Western Australia’s existing computing and data infrastructure, by making available training, data expertise and support in finding, accessing and analysing space data.
The launch offers a rare opportunity for SMEs to utilise the growing reservoir of space data, which has traditionally been out of reach for businesses that lack the scale or in-house analytical capacity to leverage data sources.
The ASDAF is seeking expressions of interest to partner with SMEs to help them identify and make sense of this data, with the goal to develop commercial opportunities that lead to growth and jobs.
Pawsey’s Executive Director, Mark Stickells said SMEs should consider whether data captured from space could be useful in developing new markets or products or enhancing existing operations.
“The use of space data and Earth-observation technologies is growing every day,” Mark said.
“There is significant opportunity for business to use this data, whether it is looking at human land use, physical changes in the landscape, soil moisture or atmospheric conditions.
“We are seeking expressions of interest now. If you are an SME, in any sector, and you think your business could capitalise on data collected from space, make an application.”
The Australian and Western Australian Governments are working together to co-fund this national facility in support of innovation and diversification of the economy.
Commonwealth funding was provided through the Australian Space Agency’s $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund, part of the Australian Government’s $700 million investment in the space sector, which seeks to triple its size to $12 billion by 2030, creating an additional 20,000 jobs.
Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said space data and Earth observation analysis have historically been a specialised application in the private sector.
“Putting the right space data, tools and capabilities in the hands of business has the potential to drive down costs, increase productivity, create new value and grow the economy,” Mr Palermo said.
“While costs have come down in recent times, space data and analytics have yet to realise the potential which creative, commercial SMEs can bring to business and consumer applications across many sectors of the Australian economy. The ASDAF hopes to provide SMEs with the expertise and access to analytics needed to encourage innovative and practical applications of space data.”
The ASDAF is also backed by the WA Government, which has provided $750,000 as part of its commitment to grow the State’s space industry.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Science Roger Cook said the ASDAF was part of the Western Australian Government’s commitment to create new jobs and diversify our economy through driving economic growth across existing and emerging industries.
“Western Australia has long played a part in the space industry. We are here to continue growing the national effort in this area,” he said.
“The field of space data is young and maturing, and I’m particularly excited to see how small and medium enterprise can use space data to complement traditional data sets to innovate and grow their business and support priority sectors, such as mining, agriculture and defence.”
To express your interest in ASDAF services visit www.asdaf.space
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter’s announcement can be found here