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Swinburne Uni launches $3m Space Tech hub with Ernst & Young

Melbourne-based Swinburne University of Technology and Ernst & Young Australia have launched a new Space Tech Hub supported by $3 million of funding from EY.

The new hub is designed to tackle major environmental and economic issues using cutting-edge space research. It will leverage Swinburne’s global leadership position in space, its academics and researchers, and innovative technology such as the OzSTAR supercomputer to provide tech solutions to industry partners.

The project is another step towards Swinburne’s pledge to build the engine room for innovation and economic growth in Australia’s burgeoning space sector. The company also drives the AIR (Aerostructures Innovation Research) Hub to focus the university’s resources and those of its industry partners on real-world aeronautical technology problems.

The Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute, Professor Alan Duffy, said, “Through the use of ground-breaking technology, like the Swinburne OzSTAR supercomputer, and our access to the next generation of talent, this partnership will position Australia’s space industry at the forefront of global economic, environmental and social opportunity.”

The Space Tech Hub will initially have three key focus areas:

  • Improving community resilience and environmental health
    Helping communities and businesses effectively respond to the impact of natural disasters (fire, flood, climate) and climate change-related pressures.
  • Improving productivity
    Boosting the safety and performance for industry partners through the adoption of space technology for managing critical infrastructure and assets under challenging conditions.
  • Creating an ecosystem to solve problems of national interest
    Positioning Australia to lead globally in space technology to resolve issues of climate impact, land management, logistics and defence.

A dedicated EY team of 15 staff, consisting of scientists, data and analytics professionals, and AI specialists, will work on the Bub, led by EY partner Anthony Jones, with support from Swinburne talent and technology.

“The Space Tech hub will solve big business problems by utilising space-derived data and services for terrestrial benefit,” Mr Jones said. “We’ll be leveraging the capability of EY’s own astrophysicists, machine learning engineers and data scientists, as well as working with academics from Swinburne University of Technology, to help solve community resilience issues, drive decarbonisation initiatives, and aid in reducing the impact of natural disasters on communities.”

The hub builds on the Swinburne Space Technology and Industry Institute’s work with the EY Data Science Challenge, developing AI to help spot bushfires from space for the Country Fire Authority.

It forms part of the Institute’s pledge to build the engine room for space innovation and economic growth in a sector projected to be worth $1 trillion globally by 2040.

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