Supply chain project to bring UK and Australian space companies together

As part of a joint UK-Australian ‘Space Bridge’ project, researchers have created a tool to highlight and connect Australia’s space supply chain.

The Australian half of the project – a group called SmartSat CRC – hope that it could be used to help Australian space companies enter the UK market.

In the UK, the supply chain catalogue has “been going for a number of years, and I’ve got really in depth knowledge on their space industry,” Dr Sarah Cannard, SmartSat CRC Industry Director told Cosmos Science.

“Because of this, they have a really deep understanding of the historic trends of the space capabilities in the UK. So, it’s a very, very powerful tool.”

The tool – called the UK Space Capabilities Catalogue (UKSCC) – is built for industry and governments to understand more about where gaps in the market could be filled, as well as tracking UK and Australian space companies. It was unveiled at the 2023 Avalon Airshow in Victoria.

During the initial pilot, they catalogued 240 Australian organisations, which represent a significant portion of the Australian space ecosystem.

“Where there might be potential weaknesses in the UK market, that opens up export opportunities,” says Cannard.

“An Australian company could go, ‘we’re really good at optics or data, let’s have a look at what’s available in the UK and enter that market’.”

The project is part of the larger ‘space bridge’ between the UK and Australia, which is a framework to increase collaboration between the two countries. 

“When you dig down into it, it’s a document which says: Australia, you can talk to the UK and build up Australian projects. We can fund their projects and they can fund our projects,” says Cannard.

“It just makes collaboration a lot easier.”

Although you can view the Australian version of the supply chain of the UKSCC, it’s web of companies might not make much sense to those outside of the industry.

“It does require a five-minute tutorial to understand what’s happening with it, and that’s something we are working on with the UK,” Cannard told Cosmos Science.

“It’s really got unlimited potential when it comes to enhancing that collaboration across the nations.”

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