Harnessing Australia’s natural and competitive strengths through the Trailblazer Universities Program

Three people standing in a warehouse or factory and dressed in business attire. Includes the words: Harnessing Australia’s natural and competitive strengths.

This story was first published on Friday 28 July 2023. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@education.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education has launched the Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) project as part of the Australian Government’s Trailblazer Universities Program.

iLAuNCH is setting out to fill critical gaps in Australia’s space market, including the production of rocket and launch facilities, satellite manufacturing, communication technologies and integrated sensing systems.

From creating hypersonic flight diagnostics that will offer the capability for airborne observation, to the creation of a launch rail and launch pad for an Australian based launch site, Australia’s researchers and industry are coming together.

Australia’s space manufacturers are currently reliant on international space industries and launch facilities to send sub systems like satellites, rockets and sensors, into space. iLAuNCH is about to change that.

This project is setting Australian companies up to compete on a global scale and capitalise on commercial opportunities by using Australian resources and technology from start to finish.

Launching the project at the University of Southern Queensland’s (UniSQ) Toowoomba Campus, Assistant Minister Chisholm said he was looking forward to working with the university and industry partners to ensure the success of this program.

“This Project is harnessing Australia’s natural and competitive strengths to diversify and transform Australia’s economy, workforce, and industry, while creating more sustainable, high-value jobs for all Australians,” Assistant Minister Chisholm said.

“Industry plays a pivotal role in propelling university innovation to the forefront of Australia’s economic recovery, and there is great opportunity for small and medium enterprises, as well as large organisations, to collaborate with Australia’s outstanding researchers.”

The regionally headquartered UniSQ is leading the project in partnership with The Australian National University, University of South Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and more than 20 industry partners.

UniSQ is one of six universities supported by the Australian Government’s $370.3 million Trailblazer Universities Program, which is building new research capabilities, driving commercialisation outcomes and investing in new industry engagement opportunities.

This funding also includes $45 million for universities involved in the Trailblazer program to partner with the CSIRO to access specialised equipment to prototype and test technologies at scale.

Through the program, iLAuNCH will receive $50 million in Australian Government support over 4 years. This is supplemented by a further $130 million from industry partners, contributing to a potential net economic benefit of the $180 million investment is expected to be $3.6 billion by 2040. 

Learn more about the Trailblazers Universities Program and iLAuNCH.

Image credit:

University of Southern Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, iLAuNCH Executive Director Darin Lovett and Assistant Minister for Education, Senator Anthony Chisholm.

Correct at time of publication.