Benefits of hosting a mega-science project

Participating in the SKA project enables Australia to join in an international radio astronomy collaboration, including engineering and big data research partnerships, for the duration of the 50-year lifespan of the Observatory.

Landmark science facilities have a strong track-record of facilitating the transfer of new technology into commercial outcomes. As an SKA Observatory co-host, Australia has the opportunity to work at the forefront of the data science and analytics sector, which is increasingly central to the jobs of the future and economic growth, linking local science institutions, industries and businesses to a long-term global project.

Government investment in next-generation science infrastructure is ensuring Australia continues to make world-class discoveries and collaborates on major international science projects. The government announced $294 million for the SKA as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) in December 2015.

Industry participation

Australian business will benefit from the economic opportunities of being a host nation. For example, Australian businesses will be at the forefront of SKA-Low’s construction; building the infrastructure and contributing to the design of new technologies that will enable data to be processed at unprecedented speeds. Collaboration between industry and the research sector will support the development of advanced digital technologies and expertise.

Join the Australasian Square Kilometre Array Industry Cluster for project updates, networking and other opportunities.

Local community benefits

Hosting the SKA will provide great outcomes for the Mid West Region of Western Australia, and to the Wajarri Yamatji, the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) site.

Construction and maintenance of SKA-Low will provide opportunities for local companies, as well as infrastructure benefits to the region, such as planned fibre connectivity for communities local to the MRO – the Murchison Settlement and the Pia Wadjarri community.

An Indigenous land use agreement (ILUA) is already in place for the current MRO activities with the Wajarri people. This agreement protects Wajarri cultural heritage and provides benefits back to the local community. A new ILUA is currently being negotiated for the entire MRO to cater for SKA-Low construction that will expand on current benefits for generations to come.

International partnerships

Australia’s leading role in the SKA will demonstrate to the world that Australia is perfectly equipped to partner on ‘big science’ and advanced digital technology projects.

Collateral breakthroughs

Delivering the SKA will require novel computing and technology solutions, and these will have broad benefits. For example, new technology around faster fiber optic cables and more powerful computers will eventually filter into our everyday lives.

Great science

The SKA will be responsible for many scientific breakthroughs and discoveries. Australian scientists will be at the forefront of this work.

Inspiring Australia

The SKA project will generate an interest in STEM subjects as future generations of students are inspired by Australia playing host to part of the SKA project – the largest and most capable radio observatory ever built.