A key player in supporting South Australia’s stake in the space industry, UniSA has signed a memorandum of intent with the State Government and the International Space University (ISU), headquartered in France, to extend its engagement to support space entrepreneurship.
UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Professor Tanya Monro says the agreement paves the way for creative collaborations to support South Australia’s growing contribution to what is a $3 billion industry nationally.
“UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research has been a contributor to space science since the late 1990s and we were part of the team that launched Australia’s first 21st century satellite, FedSat,” Prof Monro says.
“Since 2004, we have been playing an important role as host for the ISU’s Southern Hemisphere Summer Space program, which brings students studying in the widest range of disciplines from around the world to South Australia.
“The program delivered at Mawson Lakes campus, covers everything from systems engineering and life sciences, right through to law, economics and communications, as they relate to the space industry and space travel and UniSA and ISU collaborate to deliver classes.
“We are contributing our expertise through the teaching and support we provide to the program but we believe there are opportunities to extend and broaden our engagement and the MOI offers us a framework to see how we can work with the ISU and Government to do just that.”
Prof Monro says UniSA’s expertise in satellite systems engineering, in virtual reality and AI technologies, in analytics, materials science and nanotechnology and in vital human factors, through its Behaviour-Brain-Body Centre has enormous potential to contribute to the space industry.
“Our approach to research is keenly focussed on partnering with industry - helping them to find solutions to their challenges or make the improvements that support industry viability and success.
“We have also developed initiatives to give enterprising students the opportunity to realise their own dreams, such as the Venture Catalyst scheme, which is co-funded with the State Government.
“The scheme encourages entrepreneurship and the creation of local startups by providing funding for early-stage student ventures.
“Nurturing student creativity, partnering to support innovation in business, industry and the professions are key goals for UniSA.
“We are experienced and effective collaborators and I can see enormous potential for this relationship with ISU and the Government to grow and strengthen space education and innovation in SA.”
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