Doors open for opportunities in future careers

From the defence sector and cyber security to artificial intelligence and robotics – South Australia’s future industries are the great engines of change.

It’s a serious but exciting transition away from the once-thriving auto-manufacturing sector and towards these prosperous future industries that will lead to an increase in demand for skilled workers.

SA businesses to have already found solutions and strengths in our growing future industries include Axiom Precision Manufacturing, which once specialised in automotive parts manufacturing but has now transitioned into design and manufacturing for the aerospace, defence, rail, mining and health industries.

Two former car making factories – the Mitsubishi plant (now Tonsley) in Adelaide’s south and the Holden site in Adelaide’s north – have been reawakened into innovation districts and business parks home to thriving start-ups and global giants taking their products to the world.

But as our state continues its trajectory towards a new and brighter future, we must equip our children and students with the necessary skills and tools to navigate future workplaces.

Axiom Precision Manufacturing’s operations supervisor Shannon Wride started as an apprentice in 2006 with the company that focused on work for the automotive industry. Now Axiom works for defence, aerospace, mining, rail and medical companies.

The future success of our state rests in the hands of young people and we – both now and in the future – must embrace change, innovation and entrepreneurship to allow the next generation’s workforce to thrive.

Throughout the months of May and June, Brand South Australia is exploring Careers of the Future as part of the successful I Choose SA campaign.

We’ll be exploring what SA industries could look like in 20 years’ time, what steps businesses, industry and government are taking to prepare us for the future, and what skill requirements our children need for future workplaces.

Here at Brand SA News we’ll bring you a series of news articles on Careers of the Future and share the stories of people who are leading in fields of artificial intelligence, defence, health and ageing, entrepreneurialism, STEM education, advanced manufacturing and the space industry.

First up, we’ll bring you an interview with the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board CEO Professor Martin Westwell, who will share his thoughts on the importance of growing and fostering future jobs through the curriculum and early STEM education.

We’ll also engage with Dr John Flackett, an expert in artificial intelligence (AI) who runs AiLab, a business assisting other businesses as well as academia, industry, community and government to navigate the complex field of AI and where it will take us in the future.

Throughout our exploration of Careers of the Future, it will become apparent how SA is preparing for the changing tides in industry and setting itself up to take on such projects as the $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Program and the Australian Space Agency’s establishment at Lot Fourteen.

An artist’s impression of innovation hub Lot Fourteen, once fully redeveloped. Photo: Renewal SA.

Our entrepreneurial ecosystem is set to strengthen, with SA the first in the nation to trial a new entrepreneur’s visa that aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors to the state.

Lot Fourteen innovation district, the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, will be a hotspot for future jobs and home to growing industries such as AI, cyber security, smart sensor networks, robotics, big data, defence, and the creative industries. The Australian Space Agency will also be established there, including the new co-operative research centre for smart satellite technologies.

Our future businesses are likely to be smaller and more nimble, with technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality, virtual reality and machine learning changing how they operate by making them more efficient.

A report released in 2017 by the Foundation for Young Australians revealed that a teenager today is more likely to have 17 different jobs and more than five careers in their lifetime. So how do we prepare them for this shift and for future work?

Keen to learn more? Come along to Brand South Australia’s Careers of the Future Industry Briefing on Monday May 13, 4–5.30pm, at Lot Fourteen. Guests will hear from Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni, The NeuroTech Institute founder Dr Fiona Kerr, cyber security specialist for Naval Group Nathan Morelli and Renewal SA (Lot Fourteen) director of place and marketing, Rachel Walsh. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Industry in focus: Careers of the Future

Throughout the months of May and June, future careers in South Australia will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

Embracing innovation, creativity and an understanding of building quality partnerships with technology is key to ensuring career opportunities in the future. SA is taking necessary steps to equip future generations with the skills for future careers and current workforces to transition to the future industries.

Read more Careers of the Future stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Mark Fusco: advanced manufacturing critical to the economy

Cutting edge technology is helping to generate new advanced manufacturing potential for South Australia to grow the economy, according to business improvement specialist Mark Fusco.

“I’m really quite excited for the future in the sense that some of these changes in technology help the smaller companies compete, we don’t have to send things to Asia to be made if we use the technology available in a smart way,” says Mark, Brand South Australia’s newest I Choose SA ambassador.

He says advanced manufacturing in SA is helping level the global playing field so local companies can better compete, grow and create more jobs in the state.

“Advanced manufacturing is such a critical part of any advanced economy, it’s a creator of net wealth, it’s high tech, high value and it’s exportable,” Mark says.

He established award-winning Advanced Focus in 2005 “to help companies scale up” after spending five years working as production engineering manager for global car company Mitsubishi Motors.

He now works with more than 40 sectors in building more advanced systems – and is actually based in a former Mitsubishi building at the Tonsley innovation precinct.

Mark Fusco of Advanced Focus is an I Choose SA ambassador for the Advanced Manufacturing industry. Photo by James Knowler/JKTP.

The company specialises in working with high potential businesses to evaluate the way they operate and to help remodel their systems to boost efficiency and scale.

“If you’re a company that’s growing really fast there are often three things you run out of pretty quickly, you can’t get enough good people, you can’t get enough money to fund expansion and you’re outgrowing your premises, facility and processes,” Mark says.

It’s been a rewarding process, with Advanced Focus winning awards and helping create success stories, like the company’s second customer SA’s Redarc Electronics.

When Mark first worked with Redarc and its managing director Anthony Kittel there were only 15 staff but management was committed to building a global company.

“He had the ambition and we’ve worked in partnership ever since, the company now has over 200 people and is really going well based at Lonsdale,” Mark says.

“You don’t see that ambition often, it’s fantastic to work with a company that really wants to make a change.”

Since then Advanced Focus has worked with the Osborne-based builder of the nation’s Collins class submarines to dramatically slash dry docking maintenance times.

It has also worked with leading defence industry leader BAE Systems Australia and electrification, automation and digitalisation company Siemens.

Last week, Mark was meeting with senior members of the Australian Navy, introducing them to a range of smart SA companies like Tauv, a manufacturer of lightweight military-grade armour.

Tauv has applied world-first technology to additive manufacturing to develop stronger, lighter and smarter armour for defence, law enforcement and the civil industry.

Another is Resonate, a company specialising in the design of custom measurement systems, software development, complex data analytics and systems integration services.

“They’ve created a company called Ping that has created an acoustic sensor that can listen using artificial intelligence … that is being used to monitor wind turbine defects,” Mark says.

Mark is now also focused on recognising the abundance of high-potential companies in the state.

Along with two other companies, Mihell & Lycos and Adept Technology, he established the not-for-profit Impact Awards in 2014.

The aim was to draw together highly respected leaders in the SA business community to help develop and grow more global companies.

Its mission is “to deliver significant value to the SA economy for the long term by actively working with proven, high-potential companies to help them globalise”.

The awards find companies with the greatest potential to impact world markets – with winners paired with the group’s ambassadors to help them achieve their global ambitions faster and with less risk.

Ambassadors include Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director and Sydac founder Adrian Smith and angel investor and co-founder of Australian company Humense, Amber Cordeaux.

Mark says winners like last year’s Supashock, HMPS and Ziptrak had judges “blown away that they have never heard of some of these companies and also what the have achieved and done it in SA”.

The awards website says it all.

“SA as a high cost economy, with a small and isolated population, needs global companies generating profound impact on the world,” it says.

“By uniting with proven leaders and influencers, our local business community can achieve incredible things to make SA not just one of the best places to live, but also one of the most exciting places from which to run a global enterprise.”

I Choose SA for Advanced Manufacturing stories are made possible by City of Salisbury:

Industry in focus: Advanced Manufacturing

Throughout the month of September, the state’s advanced manufacturing industry will be under the magnifying glass as part of I Choose SA.

As SA transforms away from traditional manufacturing processes, innovative and sophisticated products and services are taking their place, creating new jobs and investment opportunities for the state. Read more stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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World-first immersion therapy is changing lives

By Melissa Keogh

Adelaide man Peter Wilson’s life changed forever when he was severely injured in a motorbike accident in 2007.

A decade later the father-of-two has changed the lives of people with disabilities with his world-first therapy service, Determined2, that allows participants to enjoy freedom, regain confidence and build muscle strength.

Available on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Return to Work SA, ‘Immersion Therapy’ allows people with disabilities or injuries to move and breathe under water using specialised scuba diving equipment.

“One participant is walking under water and doing somersaults – this is someone who can’t walk on land,” says Peter, 37.

“Another of our participants is a wheelchair user who used to make three movements to get from their chair to the bed, but now they can do it in one.”

Peter Wilson, front, with Immersion Therapy participants.

Peter Wilson, front, with Immersion Therapy participants.

While the world first therapy is available at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre and in Port Lincoln, Peter hopes for a national roll out, and has even received interest from overseas.

At the age of 27 Peter was left with severe injuries when he came off his motorbike and was hit by a car one day during work.

He was told he might never walk again and must use a colostomy bag due to injuries to his abdomen.

But Peter defied the odds and returned to work a year later in the used car industry.

He continued to struggle with worker’s compensation, insurance companies and a decline in his mental health.

“I realised that I had to make a decision to either give up on life or start again,” Peter says.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to give back and help other injured workers.”

One day Peter took up recreational scuba diving, discovering the weightlessness did wonders to his wellbeing.

Wanting others with a disability to experience the same under water freedom, he began planning his own therapy service with the support of Dr David Wilkinson OAM from the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“We met a young lad, Ben, who had a high-level spinal cord injury and he wanted to be part of the immersion therapy trial,” Peter says.

While under water, participants are able to have greater mobility due to the weightlessness of the water.

While under water participants are able to have greater mobility.

“Ben’s reaction cemented for me that this is what I’m meant to be doing with my life.

“We have built the program from the ground up, and we have since had 200 people engaged.”

Peter largely attributes his success to the State Government’s passing of the new Return To Work Act in 2015, meaning significant changes to workplace insurance rules.

Determined2 participants have mild to severe impairments including spinal cord injuries, amputations, neurological conditions, autism, PTSD, and aches and pains.

Before getting in the water, they must undergo a hypobaric medical assessment by a team of doctors.

With the specialised diving equipment, participants are able to breathe under water, and often experience pain relief and increased mobility.

“The service has developed a lot since starting, it has now gained further support from senior doctors across the state including Dr David Wilkinson, Dr Adrian Winsor and, Dr Kade Davison,” Peter says.

“The University of South Australia is now moving towards evidence-based research on the benefits of immersion therapy.”

Peter says he’s proud to have launched the therapy in South Australia.

“It feels like the first time in life that I have purpose,” he says.

“Our state has an amazing resource of innovative and dedicated people.”

Determined2 was the 2016 winner of the National Disability Awards’ Excellence in Inclusive Service Delivery.

For more information on Determinded2 visit the website.

SA school teaching kids jobs of the future

By Melissa Keogh

Fast forward 20 years and could the students of today be earning a living by making flying cars, travelling to space or building robots?

One thing is for sure – the jobs of tomorrow will be very different to those first projected to leading educator Jayne Heath when she was at school.

Jayne is principal of the Australian Science and Maths School (ASMS) and says the innovative institution, located on the Flinders University campus, isn’t waiting until tomorrow to find out what the future of work might hold.

Last week her Year 10 and 11 students embarked on the second Real Day Out excursion which engaged them with high-tech companies, organisations and future industry precincts across Adelaide.

ASMS principal Jayne Heath, centre, says it's important for students to be future ready by exploring the jobs of tomorrow.

ASMS principal Jayne Heath, centre, says it’s important for students to be future ready by exploring the jobs of tomorrow.

“It’s a really exciting time in SA,” says Jayne, who is a founding staff member at the ASMS which opened in 2003.

“There are all these pockets of opportunities in Adelaide that people don’t know about yet.

“So it’s important for our students to collaborate with others to solve the problems of the future.”

The annual Real Day Out excursion is part of the school’s 21st Century Capabilities and Careers Program, first piloted with the help of employment planning and development company, Workforce BluePrint, in 2016.

On September 21, about 200 students ventured into Adelaide’s CBD, the Tonsley Park Innovation District, Thebarton High-Tech Precinct, and the Mawson Lakes Defence Teaming Centre to investigate future jobs.

They explored future jobs such as drone operators, artificial intelligence trainers, bitcoin (digital payment) traders, coder artists, smart city designers and virtual reality designers.

Students visited Tonsley for a glimpse at future industries which are likely to form the backbone of the SA economy.

Students visited Tonsley for a glimpse at future industries which are likely to form the backbone of the SA economy.

Students had the opportunity to speak with businesses already in these spaces, and tackle real life learning challenges.

ASMS student wellbeing leader Simon Illingworth accompanied students on the Real Day Out and says one of the highlights was meeting with Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese to explore the roll out of Adelaide’s Ten Gig City.

The council project involves a city-wide 10Gb/s capable fibre optic network allowing businesses, government and researchers to connect to one another at lightning fast speeds.

Simon says students also met with the Local Government Association and were inspired to consider a career in local government and what the future of their community could look like.

“It’s about real connections and being able to interact with students, rather than me just talking about it at the front of the classroom,” he says.


ASMS students learn in an open plan environment.

The Real Day Out excursion is not the first time the ASMS has been forward-thinking in how it educates its students.

Jayne says it’s crucial for students to be able to wade through the plethora of online information and to “look for credibility”.

“So much information is available to our young people and they need to have the skills to be able to enter a 21st Century workforce and be future ready,” she says.

The ASMS is a school for students with passion for the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

At ASMS students don’t engage in a typical classroom setting, but instead have control over their learning environment which is described as an “open place 21st Century school design”.


The ASMS is the only high school in SA to offer aviation studies, featuring an industry standard flight simulator.

Also setting ASMS apart from other schools is the fact that it’s the only secondary school in SA offering aviation as a Stage 2 SACE program.

The subject involves students engaging with an industry standard flight simulator and is taught by qualified teachers and pilots.

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.


Meet the Adelaide surgeon who is revolutionising burns care in SA

By Melissa Keogh

Sixteen years ago Professor Dr John Greenwood AM was headhunted from the UK to help save lives at the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s (RAH) Adult Burns Centre.

Since then the Englishman and now proud South Australian has developed a suite of skin substitute products that will completely transform burns care in South Australia.

With the help of these innovative procedures and the opening of the world-class new RAH, Prof. Greenwood says SA has built “the best burns unit in the world”.

“We have been working towards the introduction of new materials and these materials have not only improved what we do, they have changed the way we do it,” he says.

“They have created a complete parallel shift in burns care in South Australia.”

The RAH Adult Burns Unit’s catchment area extends across SA, the Northern Territory and western parts of New South Wales and Victoria.

About 450 inpatients come through the doors every year, suffering from thermal, chemical, electrical and radiation burns and many of them presenting horrific, “non-survivable” injuries.

Prof. John Greenwood's

Prof. John Greenwood’s suite of skin substitute products will replace the need for patients to undergo multiple notoriously painful skin grafts.

After specialising in chronic wounds management and treating victims of Australian bushfires and the 2002 Bali bombings, Prof. Greenwood longed to improve his patients’ chances at survival.

Typical burns treatment involves multiple skin grafts, which are notoriously painful skin transplants from other parts of the body.

“I realised I could do something about the skin problem by creating some materials that would replace the need for a skin graft,” Prof. Greenwood says.

He developed a world-first bioreactor which grows large amounts of skin in 28 days.

It is done by taking a small tissue sample from the patient to grow full thickness skin in the lab.

At the same time, Prof. Greenwood, with the help of the CSIRO and Melbourne company PolyNovo, developed a biodegradable dressing that is placed on the wound and provides a bed for the new skin to grow over.

“I wanted to use something that was easy to manufacture, that was light and cheap, that they could produce large volumes of quickly, sterilise and transport easily, and had no special storage requirements,” he says.

The dressing prevents the wound from contracting and acts as a barrier to infection until the new skin is grown from the lab.

This innovative process will replace the need for multiple, painful skin grafts often involving healthy skin being repetitively taken from the same site.

In 2016 Prof. Greenwood’s research efforts lead him to being named South Australia’s Australian of the Year.

He says the state’s encouragement of medical research and its world-class facilities have kept him in SA.

“Adelaide has some fantastic minds,” he says.

“St Peter’s College alone has produced three Nobel Prize winners and the government and other organisations have made it as such that funding for research is not only available, it’s encouraged.”

Prof. Greenwood is proud of the RAH’s accreditation with the American Burns Association and American College of Surgeons.

“We are the only unit in the world outside of North America that has that standard,” he says.

“We are maintaining a fantastic standard and it’s that kind of thing that keeps me going.”

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.




Adelaide astronaut Andy Thomas on why SA is great for space

By Melissa Keogh

South Australia’s spaceman Dr Andy Thomas was the boy from Adelaide who became the country’s first NASA astronaut.

Over two decades, the University of Adelaide’s most famous graduate embarked on four space flights, one spacewalk, and even worked alongside Hollywood’s elite on the 2013 film Gravity.

But what is the perennial question people always ask the veteran astronaut?

How do you go to the toilet in space?

Adelaide's own spaceman Dr Andy Thomas. PHOTO: NASA.

Every astronaut needs their own space portrait. Dr Andy Thomas is Adelaide’s own spaceman. PHOTO: NASA.

“Everyone asks that,” Dr Thomas tells the September 22 SA Press Club luncheon.

“I got to meet the Prime Minister of Japan one year and he asked all the attendants to leave.

“He said, ‘now that everyone has gone, let me ask you a question’.”

Dr Thomas doesn’t explain space toilet procedures, instead suggesting to “go to YouTube”.

“I get a lot of questions … what is it like to be weightless for 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Bizarre is the best way to describe it.

“What is it like to recover when you get back to earth? Also bizarre.”

Dr Andy Thomas was born in Adelaide in 1951.

In the 1970s he completed a bachelor’s degree and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide before moving overseas to work in the US aviation industry.

Throughout his NASA career, Dr Thomas spent 177 days in space.

One of his most memorable experiences was his third space mission in 2001 aboard the shuttle Discovery, during which he carried out a 6.5-hour spacewalk.

“I was high up in the solar array … I could see the space station below us, stretching out and beyond that is infinity. You could see this deep blackness of infinity,” Dr Thomas says.

“It was an amazing view.”

Dr Andy Thomas addresses the SA Press Club about the importance of Australia having a national space agency.

Dr Andy Thomas addresses the SA Press Club about the importance of Australia having a national space agency.

Dr Thomas’ visit to Adelaide comes as 3500 space industry experts descend upon the city for the 68th International Astronautical Congress from September 25–29.

On day one of the congress, the Federal Government announced a national space agency would be created in Australia to tap into the $420 billion industry and create thousands of jobs.

Australia is one of the world’s only developed countries without a national space agency.

Dr Thomas says space is as important to Australia as “railroads were in the early development of the country” and that SA is well-placed to play a part in the national agency.

“The Defence SA organisation put together a listing of all the companies in SA who are involved in space … there are over 50 of them so it’s a really big part of the SA economy,” he says.

Despite Australia lagging behind in the national space agency stakes, Dr Thomas applauded Premier Jay Weatherill’s recent announcement of a new space industry centre for SA.

He says the state is already competing in the space sector.

In 2013 Dr Thomas consulted on the space movie Gravity alongside Hollywood A-lister Sandra Bullock and he notes that Adelaide-based visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures generated scenes for the film.

“A lot of people say SA can’t compete in the space sector,” he says.

“Well, that’s an example where they do on the international stage.”

Watch the video below to see Andy Thomas in space.

Header photo courtesy of NASA.

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.


Top five events to catch at Open State

By Melissa Keogh

The future. What will we eat and where will it come from? Will bugs save the planet? Will the robots take over? What will become of planet Earth?

Some of the brightest brains will gather in Adelaide later this month for the Open State Festival from September 28 – October 8 to ponder what the future will bring.

The festival features more than 100 events and workshops exploring the themes of future planet, cities, democracy, enterprise, humans and food.

Last year’s Open State attracted more than 25,000 people who rocked up to 65 events, bringing in $11m in economic value for South Australia.

The Open State hub is in Victoria Square but events will pop up at venues across Adelaide.

So, without further ado here’s our guide to the Top Five Open State events.


1. Bugs for dinner?
Stay with us.

Bugs are not only nutritious, but they are sustainable and research shows that they could hold the key to managing population growth and demands on natural resources.

Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects for food and at this family friendly bug eating expo you can meet Australia’s passionate bug eaters.

Attendees will learn about the financial, environmental and health benefits of eating insects and how creepy crawlies can be farmed sustainably.

You can sample a range of insects, insect based products and even learn how to match insects with wine.

Another bug event, an interactive forum, will go ahead earlier in the day from 9.30–11am (tickets $15).

When: October 2, 5–6.30pm
Where: Open State Dome, Victoria Square
Tickets: Free

Blog770pxRobot brains v human brains open state

2. Robots, Robots, Robots
What are your concerns and curiosities about robot brains?

Dr Jordan Nguyen and Dr Fiona Kerr will lead the Robot Brains V Human Brains Q&A that will explore how robotics can help us understand more about humans.

Attendees can learn how robotics teach us more about ourselves and where the robotic evolution is headed? Is a world with robots as intimidating as it sounds?

Dr Fiona Kerr is from the University of Adelaide and is a head thinker in cognitive neuroscience, human connectivity and the impact of technology on us mortals.

Dr Jordan Nguyen completed his PhD in biomedical engineering at Sydney’s University of Technology.

Drawing on a past experience of almost breaking his neck, Dr Nguyen developed a mind-controlled smart wheelchair for people with high-level physical disability.

When: October 2, 11.20am–12.20pm
Where: Open State Dome, Victoria Square
Tickets: Free

Blog770pxPreparing the digital workforce of the future cropped_open state

3. Work of the future
It’s no secret that the general workforce is transitioning to a more global, technology driven economy.

New, unheard of jobs are being created and young Aussies must reshape their mindset and current systems to keep up.

South Aussie Emily Rich will join fellow speakers Andy Barley and Bronwyn Lee at Preparing the Digital Workforce of the Future.

The trio will explore the research being undertaken to prepare young people for the future workforce and what skills they need to thrive.

When: September 28, 9.30–11am.
Where: Open State Dome, Victoria Square
Tickets: Free


4. Dumb diets
Three South Australians Dr Fiona Kerry, chef Simon Bryant and wine expert Paul Henry will lead this session to ponder Is your Diet Making You Dumb?

We already know that what we eat impacts us physically, intellectually and psychologically.

But is how we eat and who we eat with just as important as what we eat?

When: October 3, 3–4pm.
Where: Open State Dome, Victoria Square
Tickets: Free

Blog770pxTheWomensParliament open state

5. Girl power
South Australia has had a pretty good run in the gender equality stakes.

In 1894 in SA, women were granted the right to vote and stand for Parliament – the first legislation of its kind in the world.

But there is still things to be done, particularly with the representation of women in parliament.

The Women’s Parliament will debate and discuss economics, legislation, business, export, education, health, human rights, indigenous rights, arts and culture, social change and welfare.

When: October 5, 9.30–11am.
Where: Hawke Building, UniSA City West
Tickets: Free

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.


New space industry centre for South Australia

By Andrew Spence

A space industry centre is being established in Adelaide as part of South Australia’s push to grow the sector in Australia.

Launched today, the South Australian Space Industry Centre is an expansion of Defence SA’s Space Industry Office and aims to drive space industry innovation, research and entrepreneurial development.

This month Cabinet created an expanded portfolio of Defence and Space Industries for the state’s Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith.

The space centre will support SA’s emerging space industry by providing grant funding of up to $1m each year to space entrepreneurs, along with new and existing space startups.

It will be initially staffed by a core group of three workers: a director; aerospace specialist, and; senior project officer and be supported by Defence SA staff and a representative from the Department of State Development and Investment Attraction South Australia.

Today’s launch was held at Hamilton Secondary College, which has been earmarked as a specialist school for space studies.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill, Defence and Space Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith, and Minister fro Education and Child Development Susan Close announce the space industries centre.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill, Defence and Space Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith, and Minister fro Education and Child Development Susan Close announce the space industries centre.

The announcement comes as hundreds of the world’s space industry leaders begin arriving in Adelaide for next week’s 68th International Astronautical Congress.

Mr Hamilton-Smith says the state is working to establish itself as a hub for space industry research and development.

“We’re not talking about an agency the size of NASA that sends people to the moon,” he said.

“We are looking at capabilities that benefit society, communications and national security.”

SA has been a strong advocate of a campaign to establish a national space agency.

Last month the State Government joined forces with the ACT to lobby the Federal Government for an agency in a bid to shore up its local space industry.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said at least 60 local organisations with space-related expertise, or the potential to apply current expertise to the space value chain, had been identified in the state.

“The space economy is one of five key areas paramount in transitioning our local economy,” he said.

“You are not a credible player in this industry if you don’t have a have a space agency and a well-coordinated plan and the kinds of partnerships you need to get Australians into space require a space agency.”

The space congress is expected to attract about 3500 members of the global space industry to the Adelaide Convention Centre from September 25-29. Delegates will include the heads of all the major space agencies and Space X founder Elon Musk.

The Federal Government announced a review into the long-term plan for the sector in Australia in July, which will not be complete until March. Although this means any meaningful pledge of an Australian apace agency is unlikely at the congress, many expect a Turnbull Government pledge of some kind.

The space industry in Australia currently employs about 11,500 people and generates $4 billion a year in turnover – less than 1% of what the global industry is worth.

Defence SA released a report this month into the economic benefit of establishing a national space agency.

The report found that if Australia could replicate the performance of the UK space economy in its first eight years after the establishment of a national space agency in 2010, 11,700 jobs and an additional AU$5.3 billion would be generated annually, a 132 per cent improvement on current figures.

This would take the annual turnover of the industry in Australia from AU$4 billion this year to AU$9.3 billion in 2025 and the number of people working in the industry from 11,500 to 23,198.

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.



The woman behind the research of tomorrow

By Melissa Keogh

South Australia is full of brainiacs and Professor Emily Hilder is one of them.

The influential researcher was raised in Tasmania and grew to become one of Australia’s top research chemists.

She was lured to Adelaide in 2016 to head up the University of South Australia’s new multi-million dollar Future Industries Institute (FII).

Prof. Hilder says she was inspired by South Australia’s “incredible optimism” about future industries.

“If I was going to live anywhere else in Australia, it would be South Australia,” she says.

“I saw in SA an incredible optimism about what could be done in the future … there are some challenges we are facing but how are we going to tackle those together?

“I could see the opportunity for me to make a real difference in this space and I could see a real drive from the universities and business centres to make a difference.”

Formerly of the University of Tasmania, Prof. Hilder held a spot on the Analytical Scientist’s Power List from 2013-16 and has published more than 100 academic publications in her time.

Professor Emily Hilder is a leading research chemist who came to South Australia to lead UniSA's Future Industries Institute.

Professor Emily Hilder is a leading research chemist who came to South Australia to lead UniSA’s Future Industries Institute.

Prof. Hilder’s passion at the FII is to deliver research to solve “real world problems” in engineering, science and biotechnology.

These include something as bold as treating cancer to developing products for the renewable energy sector and finding solutions to food wastage.

Opened at Mawson Lakes in 2015, the FII is home to research students and top professors who conduct industry-connected research and innovation across four key strands.

These are minerals and resources engineering, energy and advanced manufacturing, environmental science and engineering, and biomaterials, engineering and nanomedicine.

One of the projects Prof. Hilder is most passionate about is the ongoing research into micro-sampling of biological fluids.

This research could pave the way for moving from the traditional needle-in-the-arm blood test to a more tolerable, single blood drop sample.

“I’m particularly passionate about micro sampling of biological fluids (blood, saliva, spinal fluid) to be less invasive and more user friendly,” she says.

“It’s moving from a particular sample from a vein which a lot of people don’t enjoy, to being able to take a single drop of blood and use it for various analytical samples.”

Professor Emily Hilder says she was drawn to SA's optimism about its future industries which include advanced manufacturing and

Professor Emily Hilder says she was drawn to SA’s optimism about its future industries which include advanced manufacturing and nanomedicine.

Food wastage and security is another of Prof. Hilder’s research passions.

“Some of our researches have been working on screening technology that’s fast, cheap, and simple that can screen for microorganism spoilage in foods,” she says.

“One of the challenges we have in particular for small businesses which is a large part of our food industry is being able to maintain quality product.”

The FII’s focus is research that is relevant to industry and Prof. Hilder says small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are one of SA’s biggest growth sectors.

“98% of businesses are SMEs who have less than 20 employees,” she says.

“I’m passionate about working at the interface between academia and industry and the University is doing something quite different.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to be a part of something right from the beginning.”

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.


Driverless buses to be manufactured in Adelaide

By Melissa Keogh

There’s no need for Back to the Future’s Marty McFly and Doc Brown, as it appears the future is here.

The South Australian Government has announced that driverless buses will be made in Adelaide when French driverless auto company Navya establishes its Asia-Pacific manufacturing facility here.

Navya’s ARMA shuttle buses are electric, driverless, travel up to 45km/h and carry up to 15 people.

The technical design of the ARMA revolves around three factors including perception (detecting obstacles and understanding the environment in which the vehicle is located), decision (which “computes and determines” the itinerary) and navigation (applying the route of travel).

Premier Jay Weatherill met with Navya executive officer Christophe Sapet in Paris this week.

“Establishing a driverless car vehicle operation here in South Australia is the perfect bridge connecting our past in traditional vehicle manufacturing and our future in advanced manufacturing in a clean, carbon neutral environment,” Mr Weatherill says.

“South Australia is already leading the nation in driverless vehicle technology and this is the next logical step.”

The government says Navya, which also has manufacturing presences in France and Michigan, was attracted to SA’s carbon neutral and renewable energy focuses, which align with its own interests.

Navya is a world-leading driverless auto company that, for the past 10 years, has been working towards technological solutions for sustainable transport and mobility.

Navya executive officer Christophe Sapet says the project is a “natural progression in our growth strategy and we are delighted to have been able to lay the groundwork of a partnership agreement with the Government of South Australia”.

South Australia has paved the way for a place for driverless (also known as autonomous) electric vehicles on our roads in recent years.

In 2015 we hosted the first demonstration of a driverless vehicle in Australia on the South Eastern Freeway.

In early 2016 South Australia became the first Australian state to permit the testing of driverless vehicles on the road.

Earlier this year, the State Government announced three recipients of the $10m Future Mobility Lab Fund which supports the development of driverless vehicle technology.

The projects include driverless shuttles transporting visitors at the Adelaide Airport, driverless pods supplied by RDM Group to transport Goods at Tonsley, and driverless shuttles carrying students at Flinders University.

Details of the exact location of Navya’s manufacturing base, a project timeline and jobs created are yet to be released.

Header image source:

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.