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USQ space manufacturing hub shortlisted for $242m Trailblazer Universities Program

USQ’s Professor Peter Schubel. Image: University of South Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland’s space manufacturing hub has been shortlisted for a $242.7m Trailblazer Universities Program. The project – Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Hub – is a national priority and will help the country keep step with an emerging manufacturing sector, says the university.

Its research will ensure Australia’s sovereign space capability grows well into the future. The four-year Trailblazer Program will help universities to fast-track commercialisation of research with industry partners across a selection of the six National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP).

The University of Southern Queensland’s Innovative iLAuNCH Hub will help the country keep step with an emerging manufacturing sector, says the University.

The iLAuNCH Hub proposal, supported by the Australian National University (ANU), University of South Australia (UniSA) and more than 15 industry partners, will improve Australia’s skills in the space sector, providing new jobs and boosting the economy.

University of Southern Queensland Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences and Project Lead Professor Peter Schubel said Australia had seen considerable progress in launch providers and facilities over the past few years.

“iLAuNCH will support manufacturing companies to accelerate, build a complementary supply chain and overcome commercialisation challenges,” Professor Schubel said.

“The success of this market is essential for a thriving sovereign space industry, as without the ability to launch, Australia is left to rely on other countries to place products into space.”

Director of the ANU Institute for Space Professor Anna Moore said while universities had valuable space research specialties, it was imperative to partner with industry to build the next generation of space researchers and professionals.

“This opportunity is an amazing first step toward ensuring Australia’s sovereign space capability grows well into the future, and we’re delighted to be partnering with the University of Southern Queensland,” Professor Moore said.

The University of Southern Queensland is Australia’s only university with end-to-end rocket manufacturing capability, from design to fuel manufacture, structural manufacture, test and launch capabilities.

It has already attracted a major international rocket manufacturer to Queensland, and in partnership with companies such as Rocket Technologies International and Southern Launch, the University has established commercial rocket testing facilities.

The University of Southern Queensland’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences is well known for its research, cutting-edge technologies and industry solutions with world-class facilities such as the Helidon Static Rocket Test Site and Mount Kent Observatory.

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