South Australia will explore opportunities to partner with France in the growing international space sector, when the Premier meets with the head of the International Astronautical Federation and President of the French Space Agency (CNES), Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall.

Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith will meet with Dr Le Gall to discuss opportunities such as water management, bushfire and climate monitoring from space.

The international space sector is worth $323 billion globally.

The meeting takes place five months out from South Australia hosting the world’s most important space meeting, the 68th International Astronautical Congress.

The IAC will be held in Adelaide from 25-29 September and is set to attract around 4000 international and local delegates, including the world’s leading space agencies, making it one of the largest conferences ever held in Adelaide. Organisers anticipate the event will inject more than $20 million into the SA economy.

South Australia is leading the way in the growth and development of Australia’s space sector and it is our vision to position the state as a vibrant hub for future space activity and industry development.


Today’s meeting with Dr Le Gall will look at ways France and South Australia can collaborate within the sector, specifically in the areas of space remote sensing for environmental applications, such as water management and improved efficiency in agriculture and fisheries, water management and bushfire monitoring; research and development and technology.

The chance to partner with CNES and French industry in the areas of emerging innovation, including small satellites, advanced manufacturing and data economy will also be discussed.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

When you consider that the space industry is worth $323 billion globally and Australia’s share in that market is less than one per cent—there is tremendous room for growth.

South Australia is leading the way in the growth and development of Australia’s space sector and it is our vision to position the state as a vibrant hub for future space activity and industry development.

The past decade has seen a dramatic reduction in the cost and production times involved in developing space technologies and innovative South Australian companies are taking advantage of this.

Last year for example, students and researchers from the Universities of Adelaide and South Australia built one of the four small satellites developed in Australia in the past two years

Quotes attributable to Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

At the end of 2016 South Australia released its Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (South Australia): Action Plan 2016-2020 provides for a three pillared government-led action plan that is designed to: grow the South Australian economy through space activity; invigorate South Australia’s space innovation ecosystem and engage international cooperation with leading global space players including France.

September’s 2017 IAC will also enable us to continue strengthening our relationship with France with a bi-lateral workshop planned with its space agency CNES focused on the design and manufacture of nano satellites.

South Australian companies are also getting involved, with Myriota, a maker of nano satellite technologies participating in the accompanying trade show.

South Australia is aiming to build a national hub of space industry, research and development where hi-tech industries, universities and research organisations are actively involved in developing a vibrant innovation ecosystem.

Quotes attributable to 68th International Aeronautical Congress Chief Executive Officer Brett Biddington AM

Australia has very well-developed capabilities in making use of the data that comes from satellites and in using satellites for communications. Australian companies, universities and other research organisations are now taking advantage of miniaturisation and other technological developments to build small satellites – moving into the ‘upstream’ part of the overall space industry sector.

South Australia, through DefenceSA, has shown real industry development leadership with the release of a capabilities directory and an industry development strategy. IAC2017 will provide real impetus to developing a sustainable and resilient upstream space sector.

More than 3400 abstracts have been submitted for presentation at IAC2017. This is 700 more than were submitted for the previous two and papers that have been selected will be presented in 178 separate technical sessions. This level of interest points to a very successful Congress.

A highlight of IAC2017 will be the STEM events that we have planned. With DECD, in collaboration with the State Library of South Australia and the South Australian Museum, we are planning a series of activities for 800 primary school students and there will be opportunities for secondary school and tertiary level students as well.