“There is significant opportunity”: SMEs gain access to cutting edge space data facility and training in Western Australia

Christian-Porter

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter. Source: AAP/Lukas Coch.

Small businesses seeking satellite data to drive innovation now have access to the latest geospatial data sets from the Australian Space Data Analysis Facility which launched this week in Western Australia.

The new facility will offer small and medium businesses the rare opportunity to access the most recent satellite data sets, as well as the training they need to analyse that information to develop new commercial opportunities.

Businesses in sectors from agriculture and farming to trade and supply chain management are expected to benefit from the facility, which is managed by the Pawsey Supercomputer Centre and the Western Australia Data Science Innovation Hub.

Mark Stickells, Pawsey’s executive director, said SMEs should consider whether data captured from space could be useful in developing new products or enhancing their existing operations.

“There is significant opportunity for business to use this data, whether it is looking at human land use, physical changes in the landscape, soil moisture or atmospheric conditions,” Stickells said in a statement.

“We are seeking expressions of interest now. If you are an SME, in any sector, and you think your business could capitalise on data collected from space, make an application.”

Businesses can express their interest in accessing the data and joining the training programs through the Australian Space Data Analysis Facility’s website.

Already, the Pawsey Supercomputer Centre has partnered with Western Australian startups like Carbon Sync, Astron, Mapizy and Soar.Earth, helping them leverage satellite data for commercial uses.

Carbon Sync uses satellite data to help farmers remove carbon from the atmosphere, store it in the soil and get paid for it.

Mapizy uses aerial imagery to provide property insurers with analytics, which allows them to assess properties more accurately.

Acknowledging the launch of the space data analysis facility, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter, said satellite data can be useful for an “almost limitless” range of commercial applications.

“The potential uses for this data are diverse and extremely important for our everyday lives, including helping farmers increase crop yields and manage drought, to mapping supply chains and freight movements, or improving management of environmental impacts in forestry and mining,” Porter said.

“Through the data analysis facility, we are opening the door for small businesses to enter the market, with the goal of stimulating innovation and accelerating commercialisation of new products and services.”

The Australian Space Data Analysis Facility is funded through the federal government’s $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund, which was established to fill gaps in Australia’s space infrastructure. The facility is also supported by the Western Australian government’s $750,000 commitment to grow the state’s space industry.

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