A new class of visa and the establishment of the Australian Space Agency headquarters in Adelaide is generating national and global interest in an incubator program for space industry startups.

New Delhi, March 12, 2019:  Tekuma co-founders Annette McLelland (left) and Michael Griffin (right) are part of the Venture Catalyst Space incubator in Adelaide.

South Australian space incubator, Venture Catalyst Space, began working with its first five companies in September 2018. But the growth and national focus of the space industry in Adelaide is leading to heightened competition for places in the second round, which begins later this year.

Funded by the South Australian Government’s $4 million Space Innovation Fundand run by the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) with support from the International Space University, the incubator is now looking for up to 10 companies to be part of its second international cohort.

The Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) pilot visa program started in November 2018 and seeks to attract global seed-stage entrepreneurs to develop their ideas in South Australia. Successful applicants must also be part of an innovation ecosystem provider such as the ICC.

In December, the Australian Government announced the newly-formed Australian Space Agency would be based in Adelaide, cementing South Australia’s position as the epicentre of the space industry.

Applications for the second intake of the Venture Catalyst Space program opened last month and the ICC has already fielded inquiries from India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Germany and Vietnam. Applications, which close in April, are also expected from startups in other states within Australia.

Innovation & Collaboration Centre Director Jasmine Vreugdenburg said the new visa and the announcement of the national space agency being headquartered in Adelaide were important for the incubator’s growth.

“We’ve had quite a few inquiries from India and a number of local inquiries as well from existing organisations that have projects they want to start working on,” she said.

“Having the space agency headquartered here is pretty significant because it does put the spotlight on Adelaide and it does show we have got a large amount of capability in South Australia that we are trying to build on.

“It also puts a spotlight on the research the University of South Australia is doing through its Institute of Telecommunications Research, which is where Myriotaand Cohda Wireless were spun out of.”

South Australia has been a significant player in the nation’s space industry and is home to major Tier 1 defence companies and several emerging space start-ups, including Fleet Space Technologies and Myriota, which have both announced new IoT initiaitives in the past week.

Last December Southern Launch also announced it would establish a launch facility on Eyre Peninsula, in the state’s north.

The South Australia Space Industry Centre, launched in 2017, has been instrumental in helping establish the space sector ecosystem in the state and reports that there are more than 70 companies employing 800 people in the industry in South Australia, including Italian space company SITAEL.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

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