Five budding local space innovators have been awarded $20,000 each in scholarships that will see them travel overseas for further study as part of a new South Australian Government initiative.

The scholarships program is part of the $4 million Space Innovation Fund aimed at growing jobs and building the state’s space ecosystem.

South Australian Space Industry Centre Chief Executive Richard Price said the five successful applicants have each demonstrated an interest in improving their knowledge and skills as potential founders of new South Australian-based space-related enterprises.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship and inspiring young people to pursue careers in space plays a key role in growing Australia’s share of this lucrative industry,” he said.

“This opportunity gives our brightest minds the chance to build their skills and knowledge for the benefit for South Australia’s space sector.” 

Up to five scholarships for a total of $100,000 per year over the next four years will be awarded to applicants with relevant tertiary qualifications under the program.

The successful applicants are:

• Robin Georg – will travel to Germany to attend the Stuttgart University, with a key component to collaborate with his German-based supervisor on the research topic ‘Augmentation of a Thermal Inductive Hybrid Engine for Space Propulsion’.
• Jack Hooper – will travel to Sweden at Lulea University of Technology to complete the Masters in Space Science and Technology
• Hamish McPhee – will travel to France to undertake a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO Toulouse
• Nicholas Moretti – will travel to the US to attend Stanford University’s Graduate Business School’s Customer-Focused Innovation Course
• David Vincekovic – will travel to France to undertake a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO Toulouse

Scholarship recipient Nicholas Moretti, who currently works as a Space Technologies Program Lead at South Australian start-up Inovor Technologies, will undertake a course at Stanford University’s Graduate Business School to learn how to understand customer needs, while developing strategies and a culture that promotes innovation.

“The skills learnt in this course, combined with my engineering background, will allow me to effectively lead a team to design, build and deliver state-of-the-art products to customers,” he said.

“The ability for South Australia to innovate in an agile manner based on customer needs will result in local companies offering more attractive solutions to domestic and international business opportunities.”

“This will lead to South Australian companies having a better opportunity at success and the South Australian space industry building an international reputation for developing cutting-edge technologies and products.”