: Ester Lazzari, Universita’ Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
This report scopes the current level of space sector activity in South Australia and its growth potential. In pursuit of this objective, an attempt has been made to measure the size of the local space workforce, its growth rate and its contributions to the Australian space sector. The results of this analysis show that the space workforce, that is the number of people employed in space-related jobs, is of the order of 800 employees, meaning that by national standards South Australia is characterized by an above average per capita space sector workforce (see Chapter 2). Contributing to this result is the fact that the region can rely on various enabling factors, such as a leading university system and strong State Government support.
The performance of South Australia is remarkable, especially considering the fact the South Australian space sector is rather young and that the majority of companies are very small in size. On the other hand, the high proportion of young businesses and enterprises may in part explain the high level of innovation and creativity of the industry. The steep increase in business formation provides some evidence that the market for space related products and services has not yet reached a saturation point, and there are many more opportunities for new businesses to come.
The relatively large number of SMEs lead to the importance of assessing their implications in the space sector. For this purpose, a comparison is done with the case of Germany, which economy is also characterized by a very large proportion of SMEs. From this comparison, it emerges that government support for encouraging small business growth and the establishment of a national space agency will be decisive inputs to drive further development in the space industry.