New iLAuNCH space trailblazer to help develop Australia’s space manufacturing sector

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

The University of Southen Queensland (UniSQ) is now home to the new Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics Trailblazer (iLAuNCH), a program aimed at transforming world-class Australian research into practical breakthroughs. 

Launched in partnership with the Australian National University, the University of South Australia, and industry, the $180 million iLAuNCH program will focus on addressing critical gaps and accelerating the development of a space manufacturing sector to build Australia’s sovereign space capability, according to University of Southern Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie. 

The new ilLAuNCH Trailblazer research hub at the UniSQ’s Toowoomba campus features critical infrastructure in space research, such as a long-duration hypersonic tunnel, the Mt Kent astronomical observatory, advanced automated composites manufacturing facilities, and a rocket solid fuel manufacturing lab.

iLAunCH joins the largest space research hubs in Australia and will invest in space industry research, commercialisation and manufacturing over four years. 

Assistant Minister for Education, Senator Anthony Chisholm said Trailblazer Universities Program will leverage Australia’s national economy, workforce, and industry while creating more sustainable, high-value jobs for Australians. 

“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 the large organisation, to collaborate with Australia’s outstanding researchers,” Chisholm said. “I look forward to working with the university and industry partners to ensure the success of this program.” 

As part of the Trailblazer Universities Program, participating universities will also be allowed to partner with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO to access specialist equipment and expertise to support the delivery of their projects. 

The first group of iLAuNCH industry and delivery partners include: Amaero Engineering, Aspen Medical, Blast One, Boeing Defence Australia, ClearBox Systems, CSIRO, Leonardo Australia, New Frontier Technologies, Nominal Systems, Northrop Grumman, Rocket Technologies International, Saber Astronautics, SMR Automotive, Southern Launch, Space Machines Company, Spiral Blue, Valley Precise Global.