Microsoft, one of the world’s biggest tech companies, is expanding its South Australian presence by setting up its Azure Space team at Lot Fourteen – adding another piece of the jobs bonanza puzzle in the burgeoning local space sector.

In a ground-breaking collaboration, Microsoft and Nokia have partnered with the Marshall Government to innovate with space technology and 5G telecommunications to bring a new class of digital solutions to industry.

The collaboration will combine leading-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, with global industry experience to showcase how space technology and 5G can deliver a new era of digital transformation.

Premier Steven Marshall today welcomed Microsoft and Nokia to South Australia’s world-leading Lot Fourteen precinct.

“This partnership between Microsoft and Nokia further cements our state’s standing within the global space industry and follows several big-name companies such as Google and Amazon setting up a presence at Lot Fourteen,” Premier Marshall said.

“South Australia currently has more people employed than ever before in our state’s history and companies such as Microsoft and Nokia expanding their presence is going to go a long way in creating even more jobs for South Australians into the future.

“It is testament to our good reputation as forward-thinking, and collaboration within the hi-tech and space industries, that companies of this stature continue to be attracted to South Australia.”

The global space industry is estimated to be worth $450 billion, soaring to $1.1 trillion by 2040, with 5G technology set to add $8 trillion to global GDP by 2030.

Minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson said South Australia’s reputation is gaining recognition as the epicentre of Australia’s space economy, with collaboration, partnerships and innovation leading the way in growing Australia’s space industry.

“Our continued investment in the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct and our ongoing work with industry on a $6.5 million initiative to design and build a Low Earth Orbit satellite to provide space-derived services to the state, signals South Australia’s determination to continue to lead in this sector,” Minister Patterson said.

“Microsoft’s Azure Space capabilities help to address some of the toughest technology challenges companies face in space and in industries as diverse as agriculture, mining and resources, transport, logistics and within the public sector.”

Microsoft’s Lynn McDonald, a former US Air Force Colonel and lead of Azure Space in Australia says the two companies will explore how space and 5G innovation can be adopted for the benefit of industry in South Australia and nationally.

“We are delighted about this agreement with the South Australian Government and the opportunity to work with Nokia as we bring together interdisciplinary experts to develop, test and deploy new technologies and strategies that respond to some of the biggest challenges facing organisations today,” Ms McDonald said.

“This important collaboration with Nokia will allow Australian organisations in multiple sectors to take a giant leap forward into a new era of communications and cloud computing, making the most of space data and technology and catapulting them to the very forefront of digital innovation.”

Nokia believes the collaboration will deliver solutions that will have a lasting impact for Australian industries.

“Nokia is proud to partner with Microsoft and the South Australian Government to explore the industry transformation potential for 5G and space,” said Anna Wills, Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand at Nokia.

“We believe that by combining our 5G for industry capabilities with Microsoft’s space and computing capabilities, we can deliver solutions that promise deep and lasting impact for Australian industries in productivity, efficiency and safety, and we’re excited to begin that work in South Australia.”

Microsoft and Nokia are also working with the South Australian Government’s Office for Women on the recently published South Australian Women’s Leadership and Economic Security Strategy, exploring ways to better promote diversity in STEM.

Microsoft is also working with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning on space emulation innovation and collaborating with Stone & Chalk at Lot Fourteen’s innovation precinct.

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