Queensland’s burgeoning space industry has received a major boost with the announcement of a significant investment in Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies.
It comes as the commercial space race heats up, with billionaire Richard Branson aboard the inaugural Virgin Galactic Unity 22 spaceflight this week.
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said the state funding would bolster Gilmour’s latest round of private investment, which has secured $61 million from around the world.
“The Queensland Government’s Space Industry Strategy is all about harnessing the opportunity presented by the rapidly evolving global space industry,” Mr Dick said.
“Our investment in Gilmour Space Technologies is the first made through the Queensland Investment Corporation and our Business Investment Fund, which aims to support job creation and innovation from small-and-medium-sized businesses as we deliver our plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.”
Gilmour Space was founded in 2013 by Brisbane-born brothers Adam and James Gilmour and is now one of the nation’s leading space companies seeking to launch small satellites into low Earth orbits.
The Treasurer said the governement wants to position the state as Australia’s space coast.
“We want to be Australasia’s leading centre for launch activities, ground systems, Earth observation, niche manufacturing, robotics and space automation,” he said.
Gilmour Space CEO and co-founder Adam Gilmour welcomed QIC’s participation in the Series C raise.
“This investment will directly support the growth of Australia’s sovereign space and manufacturing capabilities,” Mr Gilmour said.
“It will help us work with more local suppliers, hire more graduates, and retrain more skilled workers from other industries to help us build and launch Australian-made rockets and satellites from Queensland.”
The Treasurer said the Queensland Government’s investment would help propel the next stage of Gilmour Space Technologies’ path to orbit by:
- Funding the construction of Gilmour Space’s unique Eris rockets featuring new and innovative hybrid propulsion technologies
- Building sovereign satellite and rocket manufacturing capabilities so 80 per cent of the launch vehicles are constructed in Helensvale on the Gold Coast, drawing on a localised supply chain
- Boosting the Gilmour Space Technologies team from around 70 employees to more than 100 by end of the year and 120 by the end of 2022
- Provide financial ‘firepower’ to build ‘roads into space’, with larger, government co-funded deals initiating new launch sites
“The investment constellation for funding the space industry is bright in Queensland, with our state offering the natural ability to host launch sites as well as draw on the strong local talent and supply chains to boost growth,” Mr Dick said.
The Business Investment Fund is part of the Queensland Jobs Fund, which includes a range of programs designed to entice businesses to move or expand their operations here in Queensland and unlock growth across industries and supply chains to deliver better economic outcomes and create new jobs.