Last month, the Premier of South Australia in a joint announcement with the Australian Prime Minister announced Adelaide would be the home of Australia’s new A$41m Space Agency and in doing so, created one of, if not the largest legacies of any Australian business event.
Held at Adelaide Convention Centre, the 2017 International Astronautical Congress (IAC) with 4500 delegates remains the largest business event won by the Adelaide Convention Bureau and Team Adelaide for South Australia. From the outset of the decade long process in bidding, losing, re-bidding and winning the highly prestigious event, the goal of the local IAC committee members from the Space Industry Association of Australia was to utilise the event to ignite discussion and enthusiasm at a federal government level with the aim of creating an Australian Space Agency. Their goal was realised on 25 September 2017 at the opening ceremony of the 5-day event with the announcement that the Government would indeed open a National Space Agency – and thus began a fierce bidding process by most Australian states to house the agency’s permanent headquarters.
The Australian Space Agency location announcement is the pinnacle of a series of legacies eventuating from the IAC 2017. It will be housed, along with similarly aligned businesses, innovators and organisations, in the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site (now known as Lot Fourteen Innovation Hub) in the eastern end of the CBD – just walking distance or a free tram ride from the Adelaide Convention Centre and the BioMed City including the new hospital all located the West End of the city.
Set to open in 2019, the Agency will employ 20 people and will regulate, licence and assess space-related activities conducted by private industry. It gives Australia a new seat at the table in the regulation of space under international law, will include a mission control centre and will be responsible for facilitating industry growth. The Federal Government hopes that the agency will help coordinate Australia’s space industry to create 20,000 new jobs and triple its current A$4bn worth to A$12bn by 2030.
Damien Kitto, CEO Adelaide Convention Bureau, commented: “The Space Agency location announcement truly is the ultimate legacy following the hosting the IAC and it presents a huge opportunity for the Adelaide Convention Bureau. As with medical and health-based events following the massive investment in infrastructure in the BioMed City, this development has opened the doors to the Bureau now having a huge asset to utilise when seeking to attract space and related industry events to Adelaide.”