Today the CSIRO announced a $35 million investment into Space Technology and AI research in Australia. The investment is part of the national science agency's Future Science Platforms portfolio, which was started in 2016.
The majority of the investment will be going into AI and Machine learning, with a view to find AI solution for food security quality, health and wellbeing, sustainable energy and resources, the environment and Australian security.
However, the remaining $16 million of it will be dedicated to Space Technology. Sadly, the focus of this research will not be on building Australia its very own Stargate. I know, I feel your pain.
Instead, the initial research will reportedly be on advanced technologies for Earth observation.
Further down the track it will also look at space object tracking, resource utilisation in space and the development of life support systems and manufacturing for missions to Mars and the Moon.
More details on the federal government's commitment to establish an Australian Space Agency are expected in this week's budget.
Space Technology and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning are just the latest areas added to the Future Science Platforms portfolio.
It also includes:
- Active Integrated Matter
- Deep Earth Imaging
- Hydrogen Energy Systems
- Precision Health
- Probing Biosystems
- Synthetic Biology
This $16 million injection into Australian space research follows the $26 million allocated by this year's Federal Budget to allow the formation of an Australian Space Agency. The agency hopes to triple of the size of the Australian space sector to $10 - $20 billion by 2030.
“Our Future Science Platforms aim to turn Australia’s challenges into opportunities where new science can break through seemingly impossible roadblocks to give Australia an unfair advantages on the world stage,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.
"Innovation needs deep collaboration, so our FSPs bring together this nation’s world-class expertise across all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to deliver real solutions to real world problems."
"CSIRO is here to solve Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology – and to do that we have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve."