Space industry capability and national resilience

Space industry

The Australian response to the current Coronavirus Pandemic has highlighted the need for us, as a nation, to become more resilient. The Government has launched a number of inquiries to investigate and report on ways to build resilience and Shoal has been at the forefront. We have:

  1. Published a thought leadership series discussing concepts, models and frameworks that explore the key pillars of national resilience
  2. Provided submissions to Government inquiries, including the:
  3. Presented to delegates at Parliament House on the Defence industry and sovereignty.

In our latest submission, to the ‘Inquiry into development of Australia’s space industry’, we explore the relationship between space industry capability and national resilience.

What is national resilience?

Earlier Shoal submissions to parliamentary inquiries have highlighted the following factors, drawn from a NATO policy on a resilient society, as being the key pillars of resilience, namely:

  1. Continuity of government – requires the ability to choose and to conduct free and fair elections
  2. A capable and functional defence force – necessary for deterrence and for defence. In turn, this depends on defence industry capabilities.
  3. Provision of energy in a reliable and sustainable manner
  4. A capable and functioning health system
  5. Ongoing provision of food and water
  6. A functioning telecommunications network, with a high level of cyber protection
  7. Robust transportation systems.

The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 nominates a wider set of activities as being critical that generally map onto the list above, with the addition of activities in the following sectors:

  • Data storage and processing
  • Financial services and markets
  • Higher education and research
  • Space technology.

Just by reading this article, you may have already started to spot relationships between the pillars and sectors. The space industry is not isolated. It provides services and supports operations of other industry sectors, is an integral part of many aspects of Australian society and is, therefore,  a critical enabler for resilience. Understanding these relationships is what we do as systems thinkers and systems engineers. Doing so will illuminate the ways in which the space sector interacts with these other sectors and will, therefore, serve as a guide to the optimum way in which the Government can support such development.

To read our views on space industry capability and national resilience, download our submission. The submission was led by Graeme Dunk, our Head of Strategy. To follow his views, connect with him and follow Shoal’s page on LinkedIn.