The Australian space ecosystem, why space is considered a priority for this country
Sep 28, 2021 7:40 AM
Adj. Prof Nicola Sasanelli
The Australian space ecosystem, why space is considered a priority for this country

Since 2016 pivotal organisations have been established in Australia such as the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC and the Andy Thomas Space Foundation as well as specific task forces created in national organisations (CSIRO, GA, ADF, BOB etc.) dedicated to space activities. Moreover this ‘infrastructure’ which includes significant government investments has stimulated a vibrant new high-tech industry specialised in innovative satellite design, launch technologies and innovative downstream applications of satellite.

What will the Australian space ecosystem look like in five years from now?

Nicola Sasanelli graduated from the University of Bari, Italy with a degree in Electronic Engineering. He went on to work as a researcher in microelectronics components before being appointed as Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Canberra from 2001 to 2008.

In 2009, Nicola joined the South Australian Government as Director for International R&D Collaborations. From 2003 to 2013 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2007 he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

In September 2017 the South Australian Space Industry Centre was created with Nicola as Director. In 2018 Nicola was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia and he was appointed to the board of the Space Industry Association of Australia. In the same year he was also appointed to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Italian Government. In 2019 Nicola joined SmartSat CRC as Director of Communication and Outreach and in 2020 he founded the Andy Thomas Space Foundation, of which he is now CEO.

Nicola’s main passion, outside of his interest in space, is painting.