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Expert review of Australia’s Space Industry

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The Australian Government on Thursday announced it will review the nation’s space industry capability to develop a long-term plan to grow the sector.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO said “I am pleased to announce that the review of Australia’s space industry capability will be led by an Expert Review Group, chaired by former CSIRO chief executive Dr Megan Clark AC”.

“This group brings together a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds.

The s pace industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52 per cent from 1998 to 2015, more than three times the annual growth rate of world GDP in the same period.

Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 billion”.

The membership of the Expert Reference Group brings together a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds and the Terms of Reference of the group focus on understanding the opportunities and capabilities within the space industry, as well as how the Australian space industry sector aligns with other sectors and Government priorities.

The Future of Australian Optical Astronomy

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO visited the Australian National University for the signing of Australia’s 10-year partnership with the European Southern Observatory partnership.

The Minister said “It is a very exciting stage for Australian astronomy and taking it to the next stage. The Partnership will be using the telescopes in Chile, which are among the best in the world to expand the reach of what we can do in terms of our research into space and a fantastic opportunity not only for Australian astronomers but also Australian industry. There are all sorts of spin-offs and applications occur when you get involved in big science”.

He was announcing that the Australian government entered a ‘big science’ strategic partnership to provide Australian astronomers with long-term access to the world’s best optical telescopes and sustain our place at the forefront of global optical astronomy.

The signing of the Strategic Partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) follows the announcement in the 2017–18 Budget of a 10-year partnership with the ESO, a consortium comprising 15 member states, considered the world’s leading optical astronomy organisation.

The Government will invest $129 million over 10 years in the partnership.

This historic partnership will give our world-class astronomers access to the tools and collaboration opportunities they need to continue leading-edge discoveries that advance our understanding of the Universe.

The partnership, commencing in 2018, will allow Australian astronomers to use the 8-metre telescopes at ESO’s La Silla and Paranal Observatories in the Atacama Mountains of Chile, among the world’s best sites for optical astronomy.

He said “This will stimulate commercialisation of innovative new astronomy technologies with likely spin-off applications in a wide range of areas like medicine, telecommunications, and manufacturing”.

The Director General of ESO, Professor Tim de Zeeuw, said the collaboration would lead to fundamental new advances in science and technology that neither could hope to achieve alone.

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