SmartSat CRC is the largest research organization in Australia. Using government funding and the contributions of its consortium, SmartSat has compiled AUS $250 million ($160 million) to accelerate the industry.
“Australia has about a $4 billion space industry,” SmartSat Chief Executive Andy Koronios tells Connectivity Business News in this podcast. “The government wants to triple the value of that, and double the number of jobs supported in this sector over the next seven years.”
Working to support more than 70 startups and scale-ups, many of which have gone on to become formidable space businesses, SmartSat has also funded scholarships for more than 60 doctorate students, supporting the next generation of Australian space scientists and entrepreneurs.
SmartSat launched its Maya Nula research initiative in May to develop Earth observation capability to enable agricultural intelligence.
Maya Nula means “eyes from above” in the Dharug language of the Eora nation.
“Australia is lacking in this frontier, so they’ve long had to rely on European and U.S. Earth observation capability. Maya Nula intends to specialize in support for agricultural industries,” Koronios said.
As climate change accelerates, our food security will be at risk. Through Earth observation we can strengthen this ancient industry to assure future generations’ supply chains will remain intact, he added.
Earth observation is capable of monitoring carbon sequestration in soil and will aid in Australia’s defense against wildfire disasters.
“Bushfire detection is a priority area for us, and we’ve made some recent progress there too,” Koronios said.
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