- The technology sector has played a critical role in ensuring that several businesses remained operational during COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
- The industry has become the backbone of the economy and contributed significantly during a period where network connectivity and security were significant challenges.
- Technology also plays a critical role in the space sector. The Australian government is supporting the latter with A$11 million worth of space grants to develop the sector further and create jobs and boost skills.
- Australia is now the founding representative of the Global Partnership on AI. The partnership will provide a position directing the responsible development of AI globally.
Technology has had an essential role during the COVID-19 outbreak, as many companies had to implement Work from Home policies for their employees to ensure the lockdown did not affect their operations. From providing network infrastructure to offering cybersecurity solutions, the technology sector made sure the impact from the lockdown was limited.
Moreover, Australia is focussing on developing its space sector, an area heavily driven by technology. On that front, the country recently announced space grants worth A$11 million to improve the industry further as well as create new jobs. The focus would also be an improvement in GPS technology.
Apart from this, substantial progress has also been made in the fields of Artificial Intelligence. Australia is now the founding representative of the Global Partnership on AI.
These two achievements can be considered as a big thrust for the country as it tries to rebuild the economy hit hard by the pandemic.
In this article, we would understand the progress made by the country in the field of space technology and artificial intelligence.
Space grants worth A$ 11 million to enhance businesses and create local jobs:
The Morrison Government is supporting a series of projects which is framed to grow the space sector and create local jobs in Australia. It also includes the enhancement of GPS technology and the designing of the innovative spacesuits that would facilitate movement in the space with ease.
As per Karen Andrews, the Minister for Industry, Science & Technology, there are ten projects that share the A$11 million grant. This would support in boosting jobs and skills in the space sector and at the same time would contribute to the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another point highlight by the technology minister was that the space industry is an important growth region and would play an essential role in the economic revival and help the country to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
She also pointed that the investment into the space sector would not only support in the job creation of the high technology jobs but will also help in developing technologies that support other regions of competitive advantage for the country comprising agriculture and mining.
This would also aid in bolstering Australian companies and the university links with global industry & space organisations. It would be an opportunity for Australian businesses where they can prove themselves on a worldwide level and secure more work in the future.
Dr Megan Clark AC, the Head of the Australian Space Agency said that the projects demonstrated the potential of the country to create extremely advanced technology, diversify the economy and simultaneously build staff skills to contribute globally.
Let us now know about these projects:
- The University of Melbourne for the SpIRIT (Space Industry Responsive Intelligent Thermal) CubeSat mission which includes the expansion of an advanced nanosatellite. Spirit would be the first spacecraft that would be made in Australia to introduce a foreign space agency payload.
- Akin would be engaged in the advancement of Artificial Intelligence space crew with roles to work jointly to assist astronauts with the complicated test.
- Silentium Defence Trading for the Multi-Sensor Space Observatory for supporting debris tracking and STM, or space traffic management.
- Human Aerospace would be involved in building a spacesuit that reduces bone loss and further detrimental microgravity side effects throughout extended space operations.
- Skykraft for its design & skills of micro-satellite constellation launch systems.
- University of NSW for the Advanced GNSS Receiver for Rockets, CubeSats as well as Remote Sensing.
- The University of Canberra in ACT to respond to sensorimotor disturbances that the astronauts experience after spaceflight.
- Stamen Engineering for the Decision Support System (DSS) as evaluate risks for satellites colliding with space debris or other satellites.
- Raytracer offering astronauts the Underwater VR Training Simulations.
Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence:
Another achievement for the country is that Australia has now become the founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) which is the first multi-lateral forum committed to Artificial Intelligence.
The membership of Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (AI) gives Australia a seat at the table directing responsible development of AI globally.
Minister Andrews stated that AI has the potential to propel production growth across a wide range of industries. It has vast economic potential, which is limitless. This technology is developing at a very fast pace. In the couple year, AI will bring huge job opportunities which one cannot imagine.
In the present times, we are marking the use of Artificial Intelligence to make our lives simpler right from new analytical tools for doctors to utilising computer modelling to forecast bushfire spread.
Minister Karen Andrews said that in the coming period, AI would be shaping our future and Australia on that front need to be a component of International work to guide its progress. She also pointed out that the country is committed to the responsible and the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence and its membership of the GPAI will allow Australia to highlight its critical achievements in AI and provide international alliance prospects. It would support the domestic capability of the country.
The Australian Technology sector as on 22 June 2020:
On 22 June 2020, S&P/ASX 200 Information Technology (Sector) was 1.73% down and settled at 1,567.5. The past year performance of the index was impressive with a return of 15.55%, and the YTD return was 11.45%.