Global Insights: Dispatches from Australia’s global diplomatic network
South Australia: State Government sets sights on the stars
South Australia will be the first Australian state government to launch its own satellite into low earth orbit. With a planned launch date in mid-2022, the SASAT1 Space Services mission is a $6.5 million partnership between the SA government and the local space industry. The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), based at Adelaide ’s Lot Fourteen innovation precinct, will lead the mission and application prototyping. SA satellite manufacturing company Inovor Technologies will design and build the satellite, and SA space company Myriota will provide the Internet of Things (IoT) space services.
The SA government will use the satellite imagery and data to deliver essential services including emergency management, environment and water quality monitoring, for bushfire impact mitigation. Data from the mission will be available to Adelaide ’s start-up ecosystem to develop analytics applications for commercial use. The mission signals the state ’s commitment to strengthen the competitiveness of the South Australian industry in global small satellite supply chains, including spacecraft export, IoT sensor exports, and space defence related projects.
Australia ’s support for an inclusive global trading environment
Australia is actively engaged in the deliberations of the newly constituted WTO Informal Working Group on Trade and Gender (IWGTG), which seeks to build a more inclusive global trading system for women. The IWGTG enables WTO members to showcase experience, research and expertise for making the WTO system more inclusive of women by implementing the Buenos Aires Declaration. It will deliberate on the value of practices such as gender sensitive impact analysis and collecting gender disaggregated data (widely adopted in aid for trade) to international trade policy eg., rule-making. The IWGTG was borne out of the Joint WTO Ministerial Declaration on Women and Trade made at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in 2017, of which Australia is a signatory. Australia is currently engaging in the draft work plan proposed by Canada in the lead up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.
Australian Strategic Partnerships in Remote Education Program
Education systems have been disrupted throughout the COVID pandemic, risking access and learning outcomes for the current generation at school. Education is crucial for economic recovery for families and the global economy – without human capital, countries will not have a skilled workforce and cannot participate effectively in the global economy.
Australia is sharing its globally recognised expertise in distance and remote education to help make education services across the Indo-Pacific region more resilient. DFAT has commenced the Australian Strategic Partnerships in Remote Education (ASPIRE) program to support countries in partnering with key institutions in Australia. The focus is on education access and learning continuity, particularly for disadvantaged students. ASPIRE will be implemented by the Australian Council for Educational Research. Further information on ASPIRE can be found here.
RMIT: Engagement with Vietnam on Smart Cities
Australian educational providers like RMIT University are taking Aussie digital innovation global. RMIT Vietnam, which marked it ’s 20 year anniversary in 2020, signed a broad ranging MoU with the Ho Chi Minh City Government on 22 January 2021. As part of this agreement, RMIT will work with Vietnamese partners to enhance smart cities-related research capacity and policy leadership. Experts from Australia, Vietnam and the region have already come together in workshops and forums with Government and industry, generating interest in Australian know-how on both smart and sustainable cities. Building on this local engagement and with ongoing travel disruptions, RMIT Vietnam has also seen an increase in Vietnamese students seeking an international degree that does not require them to travel abroad.
India: Sports tech Str8bat
Sports tech is providing opportunities for collaboration in innovation between Australia and India. The experience of India ’s Str8bat, which is working with Cricket Australia, shows how sports tech collaboration in business also fosters a broader ecosystem including coaching and institutional links.Str8bat was founded by Rahul Nagar and Gagan Daga, working out of NASSCOM in Bengaluru.
Str8bat is not a large piece of equipment - it is a sticker on the back of a cricket bat. Connecting to an app, the sticker can measure swing and impact speeds, how well the shot is timed, where the shot has gone and whether it is in the air or along the ground. Str8bat is easy to use, requires less equipment than video analysis and is more objective.
Coaching and analysis no longer has to be done in person - the data can be sent globally for coaches to analyse. Str8bat was built as a high performance product, developed through consultation with athletes. Australian cricket legend and coach, Greg Chappell and former Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, have joined as investors, mentors and advisors. Str8bat is now being used at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.