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New WA capability to lead space data analysis

Vanessa Beasley

25/06/2020

Western Australia’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, in partnership with the Curtin University-based WA Data Science Innovation Hub (WADSIH), has been awarded more than $2 million in Federal and State Government funding to establish a new national space data analysis facility in Perth.

 

 

The Australian Space Data Analysis Facility (ASDAF) will support researchers and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with space data analytics and expertise to benefit industries including, but not limited to, agriculture, mining, emergency services and maritime surveillance.

Located at Pawsey, one of Australia’s two Tier 1 high-performance computing and data research facilities, the new facility builds on WA’s competitive advantage and expertise in data analytics. The facility will support the growth of the Australian space industry, creating employment opportunities by accelerating the commercialisation of new products and services.

Mark Stickells, Pawsey’s Executive Director, acknowledged the support of both Federal and State governments to launch the ASDAF, with Pawsey receiving $1.5million from the Australian Space Agency’s Space Infrastructure Fund.

“Pawsey has a long history of collaboration and engagement across industry sectors and research domains, powered by leading technology and expertise. Working with the Australian Space Agency is a tremendous opportunity to build upon this history and unlock the value in the data intensive operations that support the Australian space industry,” said Mr Stickells.

The new facility aims to increase the likelihood of commercialisation success by connecting and leveraging existing national and state-based computing and data resources and seeking to lower the cost and risk of exploratory and novel use of space data for organisations and researchers.

Space data-related solutions have fantastic potential to provide new tools for farmers, support emergency services, or help manage drought. Innovating through the use of space data to develop new products and services will also allow Australian businesses to access international opportunities.

Pawsey will host the infrastructure, working with data custodians to manage and provide access to data products.

The WA Data Science Innovation Hub will advise on data analytics best practice, how to develop in-house capability, and how to use data to grow business.

WADSIH Director Dr Liz Dallimore is looking forward to the opportunity to extend the Hub’s reach through this facility.

“WADSIH was established in 2018 as a joint Curtin and WA Government initiative to enable Western Australia to build a data-driven ecosystem and culture. The Australian Space Data Analysis Facility will allow us to continue fostering collaboration, promoting expertise, and supporting data literacy that will bring benefit to the broader Australian space sector,” Dr Dallimore said.

In its first phase, the new facility will hold a series of industry and stakeholder virtual roundtables to establish the key requirements and inform the design of the centre’s programs of work.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth is an unincorporated joint venture between Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and Western Australia’s four public universities supported by the WA and Federal governments. CSIRO manages Pawsey as a national research facility available to the broader science community.

Pawsey is also a key stakeholder in the WA Data Science Innovation Hub and has partnered with WADSIH to establish the space data analysis facility.

Both Pawsey and WADSIH will support and provide access to data and capability development to enable the growth of new jobs and companies in Australia.

  • More information on ASDAF can be found on business.gov.au.
  • Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews’ and WA Minister for Innovation and ICT; Science’s Hon Dave Kelly’s joint announcement can be found here