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Australia's space sector wants policies introduced to ensure satellite sovereignty


The Australian space and satellite sector has urged for the Australian government to introduce policies and regulations to ensure there is compliance within the industry, without hindering potential growth opportunities. These calls have been vocalised by the likes of Optus, Nova Systems, and Vocus, with each making submissions as part of a Standing Committee inquiry into developing Australia's space industry. Vocus noted in its submission [PDF] that the Australian government should pursue policy and regulatory settings for the space and satellite sector that develop and maintain sovereign capability for both civil and defence space applications, while also incentivising private sector investment and local industry development. "Government policy settings should be set in such a way as to promote and maximise private investment and develop private industry. Private sector investment is fundamental to enabling competition, building scale, and developing capability which will deliver the best outcomes for consumers, businesses, and government agencies," Vocus stated.

Australia hopes to kick start space industry with new strategy


The federal government has published its plan to transform and grow Australia's space industry over the next 10 years, starting with forging international partnerships and developing roadmaps for areas highlighted as priority for launching the local scene. The Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 [PDF] is built on four so-called Strategic Space Pillars: Open the door internationally; develop national capability in areas of competitive advantage; ensure safety and national interest are addressed; and inspire and improve the lives of all Australians. The overarching plan is to triple the size of Australia's space sector and grow an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030. Activities under the pillars will be guided by the seven National Civil Space Priorities that build on Australia's areas of strength, the strategy explained. The priority areas are: Position, navigation, and timing (PNT); earth observation; communications technologies and services; space situational awareness and debris monitoring; research and development (R&D); robotics and automation on Earth and in space; and access to space.

Launch of Australia's National AI Centre - Australian Security Magazine


Australia's National Artificial Intelligence Centre has been launched to help unlock the potential of AI for business by coordinating the country's AI expertise and capabilities. The Centre is part of the federal government's $124.1 million investment under its AI Action Plan, which sets out a vision for Australia to become a global leader in developing and adopting trusted, secure and responsible artificial intelligence. Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the Government was delivering on the AI Action Plan, ensuring Australia was charging ahead in developing and adopting artificial intelligence products and services. "The launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Centre positions Australia as a global leader in AI technology, harnessing our collective capabilities, talent and resources to be developers and drive early adoption of AI by our businesses," Minister Price said. "The National Artificial Intelligence Centre will play a pivotal role in ensuring we can take advantage of AI technologies, which has been forecast to contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030. It will unlock the potential of AI and create new opportunities for business to access critical AI expertise and capabilities. The National Artificial Intelligence Centre will also help address barriers that small and medium enterprises face in developing AI and other emerging technologies by connecting business with the talent, knowledge and tools to succeed."

Budget 2021: Digital economy strategy gets nearly AU$1 billion


The federal government has delivered a new digital economy strategy, which it has described as an investment into the settings, infrastructure, and incentives to grow Australia's digital economy. In the strategy on a page [PDF], the government declares the digital economy is key to securing Australia's economic future and recovery from COVID-19. "The Digital Economy Strategy targets investments that will underpin improvements in jobs, productivity and make Australia's economy more resilient," it says. Despite many arguing the nation is already behind its peers, the government believes Australia's place in the world will be defined by how it adapts to digital technologies and modernises its economy. "The next 10 years will determine whether we lead or fall behind," it claims.

CSIRO and Nvidia sign agreement to accelerate Australia's AI capabilities


Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Nvidia have signed a collaboration agreement to ramp up the country's AI capabilities and adoption of the technology across industry, academia, and the public sector. Some of the specific initiatives under the agreement include the development of AI and machine learning capabilities that are focused on a national AI upskilling approach aimed at students, researchers, and industry professionals, and applying quantum computing and digital twins for use cases across climate action and genomic medicine. A working group made up of members from both organisations will also be established to identify further opportunities for co-innovation under the agreement. "This is an exciting step for Australia's expanding artificial intelligence capabilities. CSIRO has been using Nvidia's accelerated computing platform for over a decade, and I envisage that this new collaboration will expand our efforts around AI research, start-ups and industrial ventures, grow a more robust local AI ecosystem and support the launch of our new National AI Centre," CSIRO CIO Brendan Dalton said.