Tuesday, 04 February 2020 13:50

University of South Australia seeks applicants for venture catalyst space program

By
ICC associate director Jasmine Vreugdenburg (3rd from right) with 2019 cohort ICC associate director Jasmine Vreugdenburg (3rd from right) with 2019 cohort

The University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) is now accepting applications for its 2020 Venture Catalyst Space program.

As Australia’s first space incubator, the program forms part of the South Australian state government’s $4 million Space Innovation Fund which is delivered by global partners including the South Australian Space Industry Centre and the International Space University.

Applications are now open for the 2020 intake via icc.unisa.edu.au and will close on 23 March for international applicants and 23 April for Australian applicants, with the program to run from June to December.

Now in its third year, the program supports space startups to validate and test their products side by side with South Australia’s growing space industry, creating what the University says is a “thriving ecosystem and complementing the work of the industry’s existing 60+ space industry companies, and the Australian Space Agency, which calls Adelaide home”.

The program is aimed at creating a competitive and globally recognised space sector in South Australia, and in 2019 had companies from Canada, India and Australia take part in the program.

The companies taking part in 2019 were Astrogate Labs (India), Lux Aerobot (Canada), FireFlight (South Australia), Nano Spaces (South Australia) and Aeon (by Lookinglass) (South Australia) - with each receiving funding, workshops, mentoring and introductions to the Australian space industry as well as a “world-class” workspace for the duration of the program.

Working closely with the ICC’s industry partners and Entrepreneurs in Residence, Kirk Drage, Richard Turner and Terry Gold, with a network of expert advisers, the companies were able to test and develop their ideas.

ICC Associate Director Jasmine Vreugdenburg has encouraged companies from across the global space industry to apply.

“Since launching the program we have supported ten companies to build out their minimum viable product, raise funds and develop partnerships with both research and industry in Australia,” Vreugdenburg says.

“South Australia is home to a rapidly growing space industry, and we are once again seeking applications from local and international companies wanting to develop their networks and business ideas here.”

Lux co-founder Katrina Albert said that the program enabled her business to successfully build and trial its technology in a real-world setting while developing industry connections.

“During our time in the 2019 program, we completed a successful test launch of a one-storey-high aerial monitoring balloon,” Albert says. “This launch allowed us to test our technology which is set to be rolled out at three South Australian mine sites this year.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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