South Australia will be home to the first company in Australia with the capability to design and manufacture satellites and payloads of up to 300kg with Italian company SITAEL setting up its headquarters in Adelaide.

SITAEL Chief Executive Officer Nicola Zaccheo said Sitael Australia will focus on developing innovative small satellites, space missions, and space technologies in upstream, downstream and ground segments.

“SITAEL is the first large space company manufacturing space systems in Australia. We believe Australia has a huge growth opportunity in the space sector, particularly with the establishment of the new Australian Space Agency. South Australia in particular is an ideal environment to develop innovative new ideas,” Mr Zaccheo said.

Professor Roberto Battiston, President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) also welcomed the move and said that in the last two years the Australian space sector has grown very fast, with the new Australian Space Agency proof of a forward-looking political vision that puts space infrastructure at the centre of social and economic development.

“The establishment of SITAEL Australia in Adelaide is a tangible outcome of the Letter of Intent that the Italian Space Agency (ASI) signed with the South Australian Government in 2016 in Rome,” Professor Battiston said.

“ASI greatly welcomes the new Australian Space Agency with which they intend to develop strong and fruitful scientific and technological collaboration.”

South Australian Space Industry Centre Chief Executive Richard Price said the establishment of SITAEL Australia will further cement South Australia’s reputation as a hub for space, nationally and internationally.

“SITAEL’s move into Adelaide will create high-tech jobs for South Australians, open up new collaboration opportunities with local companies and strengthen our state’s reputation as a hub for space innovation and technology development,” he said.

“We are focused on building our thriving space industry and international collaboration will encourage investment and attract entrepreneurs and new talent to South Australia.”

Space industry professional Mark Ramsey has been appointed as General Manager of Sitael Australia. Mr Ramsey, who is a member of the Space Industry Association of Australia advisory board, has previously worked at Thales Alenia Space, NewSat and Lockheed Martin.

SITAEL, a member of the International Aerospace Federation, is also involved in emerging fields including the Internet of Things (IoT) and instrumentation of science application.

The company signed a Letter of Intent with SA company Inovor Technologies at last year’s International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, for the purposes of developing joint technological and commercial activities.