The Morrison Government is investing in advanced communications and earth observations from space with $55 million for a new industry-led cooperative research centre in South Australia.

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre will support the next wave of growth in Australia’s critical industries like agriculture, transport, logistics, communications and mining, generating new high-tech jobs and strengthening national defence and security.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the SmartSat CRC would complement the work of the Australian Space Agency, established by the Coalition Government in 2018.

“This industry-led research collaboration involves a broad cross section of the Australian space industry, governments and the research sector,” Minister Andrews said.

“SmartSat CRC will foster the creation of next generation space-technologies and professionals, and make Australia more competitive in the US$350 billion global space economy.”

The SmartSat CRC will focus on three key areas identified by industry through a rigorous consultation process: enabling advanced communications, the development of intelligent satellite systems, sensors and technologies, and the next generation earth observation data services.

“The CRC Program is a proven model of industry and research cooperation that produces impressive commercial results,” Minister Andrews said.

“Our aim is to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.”

The funding provided by the Morrison Government will be matched by $190 million in cash and in-kind contributions from dozens of participants in the CRC.

The CRC’s key education and training goals are to assist in graduating 73 PhD students, and build the pipeline of school, undergraduate and vocational education students, and assist with the development of the skills required to succeed.

The CRC will seek to advance gender and diversity equity in STEM related industries by inspiring women and Indigenous Australians to pursue careers in space.

Around $747.9 million in funding has been committed to CRCs since the Liberal National Government came into office in 2013 and this latest funding further builds on our commitment to strengthening Australian industry, strengthening our economic growth and helping to create 1.25 million jobs in the next five years.

For more information on the CRC Program visit www.business.gov.au/crc