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Economics of Earth observation

An economic study into the Australian Earth observation sector

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by Geoscience Australia to support the development of the Australian Space Agency’s Earth Observations from Space Technology Roadmap through a detailed economic study of Australia’s Earth observation sector.

Historically, the Australian space sector has been a niche supplier in the global space ecosystem, trading on specific comparative advantages in research and development capabilities and world-renowned expertise. Where gaps in capability and infrastructure existed, Australia tapped into global supply chains to meet domestic needs. To date, this specialisation approach has worked well for the sector, allowing Australia to compete where we had the means and the know-how.

As the domestic space sector evolved, it embedded itself in the wider Australian economy, tailoring its unique applications and insights to the Australian environment. The data and knowledge sent down from space are now used for vital industry innovation, environmental management, critical services and research to help solve Australia’s most complex – and costly – problems.

As the sector looks to its next phase of development, this changing risk profile is key. Failure in supply – particularly of data supply – can have significant consequences not just for the space sector, but for the wider Australian economy. Earth observation is a good case in point, and the purpose of this report.

To support the Australian Space Agency’s Earth Observations from Space Technology Roadmap, Deloitte Access Economics was engaged to:

  • Estimate the economic contribution of the EO sector and its benefits to end users of EO data across the Australian economy
  • Estimate the impact of a denial of service event (DOS) to the EO sector and end users of EO data
  • Estimate the potential economic impact of a hypothetical EO satellite program.

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