Sector growth, economic impacts and other key statistical insights
We undertake economic analysis as part of monitoring the growth of the national space industry. The data we produce is the basis for the biennial economic snapshots we publish.
This information provides key insights into the industry and how it has evolved since 2017.
As with many parts of the Australian and global economy, space sector revenues in the 2021 financial year were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Australian space capability has continued to grow. For example:
There is a pattern of expansion in areas such as Earth Observation, Position, Navigation and Timing, and access to space.
There has been a substantial increase in space sector employment, indicating the sector is ready for higher output growth.
Investment in the Australian space sector has grown to $2.88 billion, of which $917 million has been identified as inbound investment.
The following snapshots highlight key areas of interest, including the number of space organisations across Australia and where they are located, and how the sector is made up from an activity and revenue perspective.
Distribution of space organisations across Australia
All states and territories are home to organisations which operate in the space sector. Many locations are selected to enhance the organisation’s operating potential. For example, the Arnhem Space Centre is a launch facility located in the far north of the Northern Territory. Other organisations have added space activities to their existing operations.
All states and territories have at least one university which offers space-related courses and undertakes space-related research, either independently or as part of a wider collaboration.
Most organisations are either private, public or higher-education entities. Some public institutions and collaborative bodies are also included – such as the Australian Space Agency, the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) and the Smartsat CRC.
NB: The map uses a single, head office location as registered by the Australian Business Register. In some circumstances an organisation may have a different or multiple locations across Australia.
The space sector is made up of subsectors operating at different levels of size, growth, maturity and scale. In the 2021 financial year, revenue generated by the Communication Technologies and Services subsector dominated the industry, with a total of $1.8b in revenue, contributing to 39 per cent of total sector revenue. The next largest was Defence (Space), with $463m in total revenue equating to 10 per cent of total sector revenue. Where an organisation operates in more than one subsector, their revenue has been split between the relevant subsectors.
The revenue captured per subsector is largely representative of the age of the subsectors, with longer-standing subsectors driving the bulk of the total sector revenue. Emerging markets such as Robotics and Remote Asset Management, Position, Navigation and Timing and Launch, Rockets and Hypersonics make up a much smaller share.
By organisational activity
During the 2021 financial year, there were 618 organisations that actively participated in the Australian space sector. This means they undertook activities which relate to any part of the space sector value chain: either upstream, such as manufacturing satellites or launching rockets; or downstream, such as ground stations receiving satellite data or selling geospatial products.
Space sector activities can be classified into broad subsectors. It is common for a single organisation to participate in multiple subsectors at once.
The subsector with the largest number of organisations participating is Communication Technologies and Services (150). This subsector relates to ground stations receiving satellite data (such as CFAT Enterprises, NT) and providing a communication service to consumers (such as Ericsson, NSW). Communication Technologies and Services is a fairly well-established competitive subsector.
Some of the emerging subsectors are reflected by a smaller number of industry players, such as Launch, Rockets and Hypersonics (46), Satellite Development and Manufacturing (46), or Robotics and Remote Asset Management (28).
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