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NSW space industry finds new home in tech central

The future of the state’s emerging space industry has found a home in Sydney’s Tech Central, with the establishment of a $2.1 million National Space Industry Hub to accelerate the growth of the NSW space ecosystem.


Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres confirmed that Sydney-based incubator Cicada Innovations would operate the Hub following an extensive application and review process.

“NSW is home to more than a third of Australian space startups, well-established research infrastructure and world-class universities. There is no better place to research, develop and commercialise space technology,” Mr Ayres said.

“The National Space Industry Hub will be the nexus between industry and researchers, housing both the Space Industry Association of Australia and the NSW Node of the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre.

“This further builds on the recent NSW Government investment of $1.4 million to establish the NSW Space Research Network, a group that will also be anchored at the Hub and help to progress collaboration and efforts across the industry. This is another step we are taking to ensure that NSW is the capital of space industry in Australia.”

Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams said Cicada Innovations was the best place in Australia to build a deep tech business.

“Beyond our own custom facilities, we can also access specialised facilities through our shareholder universities, ANU, USYD, UNSW, and UTS. This includes the UTS Tech Lab, USYD’s aerospace, mechanical and mechatronic facilities, and ANU’s heavy ion accelerator.

“Housing the National Space Industry Hub will allow us to create a home for emerging space ventures in NSW. More importantly, we’ll offer these resources, mentoring opportunities and vital connections nationally through continued collaboration across the Australian space ecosystem for anyone on the path of creating a space tech venture.”

Participants will have access to free online commercialisation training programs, industry events, an impressive network of mentors, short-term acceleration, and affordable long-term incubation. The physical Hub will offer on-site facilities with accessible secure labs, clean rooms, and rapid prototyping facilities which are often needed to enable advanced IP-protected research and development and manufacturing.

Professor Anna Moore, director of InSpace at the Australian National University (ANU), which is a shareholder in Cicada, said the Hub would boost university space research and ability.

“We’re excited to see the National Space Industry Hub connect industry partners and key players in the deep tech space ecosystem to ultimately grow Australia's space economy, a goal we strive to achieve every day.”

Martin Duursma, Partner at Main Sequence Ventures, a key investor in Australian space startups, said it was pleasing to see the NSW government support for Space industry commercialisation.

“The National Space Industry Hub will be a beacon for early stage space companies, connecting them to start-up best practices, space expertise and capital as it works to build companies that will become emerging leaders in the Australian space industry,” Mr Duursma said

The National Space Industry Hub is being delivered as part of the NSW Space Industry Development Strategy, launched in 2020. For more information, visit: https://www.business.nsw.gov.au/industry-sectors/industry-opportunities/space