The strategic agreement with Sitael Australia, a subsidiary of Sitael S.p.A, the largest privately-owned space company in Italy, follows the current Australian Government’s commitment of $41 million to establish the Australian Space Agency, and its investing of more than $260 million to grow Australia’s space satellite infrastructure.
The agreement is part of the Coalition’s investment of about $2.4 billion to grow Australia’s space sector, and research, science and technology capabilities.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews welcomed the signing, which occurred during the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany this week.
“The statement of strategic intent is confirmation of Sitael’s support of Australia’s capability for developing small satellites, investment in operations, ground stations and R&D.
“The Coalition Government established the Australian Space Agency to grow our space sector, helping to create more Australian jobs and inspiring the next generation of the workforce.”
Australian Space Agency head Dr Megan Clark said Sitael was committed to the Australian space industry and the broader use of space across a wide range of sectors of the economy.
“We support Sitael’s investment in cutting edge research and development," she said.
“This initiative aims to solve communications challenges that will provide enhanced connectivity, navigation improvements and monitoring of our country and its resources.”
Sitael chief executive Nicola Zaccheo said the company’s strategic purpose to design, build and test small satellites would help increase the capacity of the Australian space sector.
“Sitael is proud to be part of the growing space ecosystem in Australia, delivering growth and jobs in advanced manufacturing and innovation in cutting edge space technology development.”
Sitael Australia opened a new branch in Adelaide in June, becoming one of the leading local companies in the design and manufacture of satellites of up to 300kg.