Finding the Profitable Niche: Futures Awaiting Space Industry

Brett Biddington founded his Canberra-based consultancy business in 2010. It specialises in space and cyber security matters from policy, advocacy, capacity development and educational perspectives. He has a close association with the Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC). Between 2002 and 2009 he was a member of Cisco Systems’ global space team and prior to that he served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for almost 23 years in intelligence, security and capability development roles. He holds an Adjunct Professorial appointment at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia

Troy McCann is the Founder of Moonshot. Moonshot develops opportunities by broadening understanding and cultivating investment and research in space technology through incubators, accelerators and investment funds. The company seeks commercial solutions to humanity’s most difficult challenges by translating the intangible into real opportunities with commercial application across industries from health to telecommunications and business functions such as supply chain. Satellite imagery, zero gravity manufacturing, robotics, drones and Artificial Intelligence are all technologies that are innovating and maturing with application in the space industry. Troy has an extensive background in computer science and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering from The University of Melbourne.

Carley Scott OAM is the CEO of Equatorial Launch Australia. Carley leads a team that will launch NASA scientific rockets and payloads commercially from northern Australia in 2022. Securing early-stage VC funding, environmental and development approvals, and advocating for support of improved policy and trade settings, Carley is part of the rapidly growing Australian space community actively collaborating with international partners to deliver competitive commercial outcomes. Carley is an advisor to the CSIRO, active in the Space Industry Association of Australia and is a mentor for Moonshot space start-up programs. She is widely recognised for her positive impacts on Australian industry and community.

Craig Lindley is a senior computer scientist in CSIRO’s Data61, currently working with CSIRO Mineral Resources. His main research interests include artificial intelligence, 3D systems, simulation and cognitive systems applied to Industrial Informatics (Industry 4.0), Mining, Mineral Processing and Space Resources. Craig completed a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW in the 1990s on the topic of spacecraft autonomy. He recently completed a project supported by CSIRO’s Space Technology Future Science Platform that developed a software analytics platform for space resource prospecting, initially focussed on asteroids and the Moon, called the Celestial Object Resource Atlas (CORA).

Regine Stockmann is a Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food and leads the Food Technology Team. She is a qualified chemical engineer with a PhD from Monash University.  She has worked in food product and process development for almost 20 years with a focus on separation and functionalisation processing to derive functional fractions and ingredients for use in foods. Dr Stockmann is a project leader with the CSIRO Space FSP researching the use of microbial systems like microalgae or yeasts for autonomous production of nutrients essential for health and well-being of space travellers in controlled zero-waste biofactory systems.

Session 4: Finding the Profitable Niche. Futures Awaiting Space Industry

The Australian Government is now promoting sovereign space industry capabilities. By this we seek the ability to operate systems developed by others, as well as the ability to invent, manufacture, operate and sell technologies ourselves. The Australian Space Agency was established in 2018 to help create jobs and growth leading to a sustainable and enduring space sector. This is highly desirable but there are many more jobs likely to be found in Earth-based applications than in the well-known sectors of launch and satellite manufacture. Looking just to technologies that will be needed to support human habitation on the Moon and later Mars, Australia has many important contributions to make in such fields as robotics, remote sensing, food science, AI and machine learning.

This session explored some of Australia’s ‘sweet spots’ to identify the major challenges we are likely to confront in realising our ambitions and potential.

Moderator: Dr Brett Biddington AM

Panellists:

  • Troy McCann, Moonshot
  • Carley Scott, Equatorial Launch Australia
  • Dr Craig Lindley, CSIRO
  • Dr Regine Stockmann, CSIRO



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