Boeing is working with the Australian Space Agency © Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF
Boeing is working with the Australian Space Agency © Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

Boeing backs Australian space initiative

15 April 2019

Boeing has signed a deal with the Australian Space Agency (ASA) to help expand the country’s domestic space supply chain.

Under its statement of intent, announced last week, the US aerospace giant will invest in R&D, innovation, STEM education and government programmes aligned with the space agency’s priorities.

Jim Chilton, Boeing senior vice president, space and launch, said: “Expanding our relationship with the Australian Space Agency is a significant step for Boeing and a reaffirmation of our longtime teaming with Australia in space.” 

Australia has declared that it would like to grow its space market segment from $3.9bn to $12bn and double employment in the space industry supply chain from about 10,000 to 20,000 by 2030.

The ASA was launched in December last year. The agency is set to be based in Adelaide and although it was launched in a blitz of publicity the new agency was revealed to only have a staff of 20 people, and what was described by the Federal Government to be a “relatively small” start-up cost.

Boeing has a long history of space-related projects in Australia, which include four new space R&D projects with the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency.

And Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ investment in Adelaide-based internet of things (IoT) startup Myriota is seeking to revolutionise satellite communications by providing low-cost access to high-value data in remote locations.

Megan Clark, head of the ASA, commented that the signing of the statement is an example of the importance of collaboration in the growing space economy.

“This statement of strategic intent highlights Boeing’s existing collaboration with CSIRO, universities and industry in broad areas such as space debris monitoring, advanced manufacturing and fuel production in space, on-orbit imaging, VR and remote space craft operation,” she said.

Clark added: "This partnership opens the doors for Australian innovators to participate in the global supply chain of the space sector.”

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