20 Jun 2023
Industry Update

Industry continues to grow sovereign capability

20 Jun 2023


This month, industry news has shone its spotlight on global defence and space company Nova Systems. Earlier this month, CEO Jim McDowell announced he would be resigning from his role with the company to take on a new position as Deputy Secretary of Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment with the Australian Department of Defence. We would like to thank Jim for his ongoing support of SmartSat and wish him all the best in his new role.

(Left to right) Nova Systems co-founder Jim Whalley AO, Cal Walker, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas MP, SmartSat Industry Advisory Board Director and Nova Systems co-founder Peter Nikoloff and Melinda O’Leary at the opening of the new Nova Systems premises.

Since then, Nova Systems also celebrated moving from the inner western suburbs to their new premises in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. This move will support their rapid expansion, a promising sign for the state of the Australian space and aerospace sector. The opening celebrations were attended by a number of the SmartSat team, where South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas MP performed the honours of officially opening the new CBD office. We look forward to continuing to work with Nova Systems on a range of projects, including the SASAT-1 Space Services Mission, Kanyini.

I have had the opportunity to attend several in-person events over the last few months, including the Australian Space Summit and Australian Space Awards, and it’s been a pleasure to get out and connect with our partners. I was proud to be featured on the panel on Women in STEM at the Australian Space Summit to discuss the importance of supporting and strengthening diversity and growth within Australia‚Äôs space industry. Feedback from the industry remains positive, although there is still some uncertainty around the impacts on the sector from the Federal Budget, Defence Strategic Review and imminent stand up of Advanced Strategic Capacities Accelerator (ASCA). SmartSat is committed to working with our members and valued partners to keep them updated and informed of any developments as things progress.

Dr Sarah Cannard (second from left) presenting on the Women in STEM panel at the Australian Space Summit last month with former Executive Director at the Australian Space Agency Anntonette Dailey, Program Lead of Space Systems Engineering Shena Howell and Founder of NewSpace2060 Helen Tung.

We are also looking forward to the launch of Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) Australian Space Industry Capability Database, due for release in mid-July. The database has been led by SIAA and supported by SmartSat CRC, Austrade, the Australian Space Agency and the Office of Defence Industry Support. The database will be interactive and provide information on the Australian space sector such as capability, workforce and company profiles. For updates on the launch of this fantastic industry tool, contact [email protected].

I look forward to seeing more of you at the next industry event!

Header image: Dr Sarah Cannard (third from right) with Western Australian members of the Aurora Space Cluster at the Australian Space Summit.

Dr Sarah Cannard
Industry Director