Cross-sector space challenge launches in Adelaide

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday October 1, 2019

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A program that brings Australia’s innovators together to solve real-world problems using space data and capabilities has launched this week.

Organised by Amazon Web Services and Deloitte, the Gravity Challenge is a six-week program that poses a range of problems set by Australian organisations across insurance, mining, government, and health sectors.

Participating teams from universities, startups, and established companies will use data analytics and machine learning to develop digital solutions which directly answer business challenges. 

Teams will have access to business mentoring, technology infrastructure, and space data. While teams can physically attend in Adelaide, they can also participate online.

Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall said the event would cement the state’s position as a global leader in the space sector.

“It’s a huge coup for South Australia to be hosting this event, building on the significant space sector momentum at Lot Fourteen,” he said.

“AWS and Deloitte are two of the largest companies in the world, and to have them choose Adelaide as the location for their Gravity Challenge highlights the gravitas our state has generated as a leader in space.”

One challenge from Airservices Australia asks teams to optimise airspace in high-density air zones, to improve the use of airspace in Australia’s busiest flight paths. Another task is focused on monitoring environmental and ecosystem restoration projects to prevent biodiversity loss across Australia.

AWS Head of Solutions Architecture for Australia and New Zealand Public Sector, Simon Elisha, said cloud technologies would benefit government agencies and help grow Australia’s space economy.

“The accessibility of cloud technology is opening doors for organisations of all sizes, including startups, government agencies, and universities to develop innovative solutions by allowing them to ingest large volumes of space data quickly and securely,” he said.

“Through AWS, the Gravity Challenge innovators are able to access and analyse data from space, experiment with technology, and develop ideas to tackle some of Australia’s biggest challenges both in space and on Earth.”


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