AAL and Industry Engagement

AAL’s role in astronomy industry engagement

The Astronomy Decadal Plan called for the establishment of ‘a central body to promote and facilitate industry engagement with the next generation of global facilities’. Whilst AAL is not that central body it does have a key role supporting its member organisations to develop stronger links with industry. 

Closer ties between astronomy and industry can:

  • Connect Australian industry with new commercial opportunities here and overseas
  • Provide career paths for astronomy graduates
  • Support the original research through the commercial provision of services, facilities and equipment

This website brings together examples of astronomy research generating commercial outcomes and statements of capability from all the major astronomy research groups in Australia.

The goal is to inspire and inform astronomers and potential industry partners of the wealth of possibilities waiting to be explored.

About this website

Each of Australia’s astronomy research groups has been / will be asked to describe the particular facets of their research that could be of interest to industry. These are the capability statements and are intended to provide a high level introduction to the various groups across the country.

The site also features a number of case studies, as illustrations of the range of commercial applications of astronomical research.

Prospective industry partners (or astronomical researchers starting their commercial journey) are invited to contact the featured groups or individuals directly, or contact AAL for a broader view of the sector.

Capabilities

Data Analysis

Astronomers have no fear of big data. The have a problem-solving mindset when it comes to data analysis, are used to dealing with huge amounts, can be flexible with different types of data and understand HPC. They can approach an existing problem from a different angle and find small signals in masses of data – providing a unique approach to industry. 

Instrumentation

Astronomers have experience working on advanced manufacturing projects. The existing Astralis instrumentation group is a dedicated, national optical astronomy instrumentation capability, formed by three Australian universities with the support of AAL. Currently, this group is working on international and national projects, building instruments for large and very large telescopes.

Space

Astronomers understand space and earth observations. As the current scale of Earth observing data is within the 10’s of thousands of terabytes per day, this is well within astronomers’ scope when it comes to big data. Astronomers understand how to use this data effectively. This is useful to industry, as astronomers can help with getting the data out to the end users in a way they will understand it. This data can then be used in real time by real people.

Education

Astronomers understand education. Astronomers’ involvement with industry indicates future employment pathways to students, especially those who have an interest in science but cannot see how they may get a job after they complete their study. Educating students, parents, work experience coordinators and careers advisors will be vital to increasing understanding as to the future pathways that exist and real job prospects that come with studying astronomy. This benefits everyone by producing the next generation of astronomers who have the capabilities required by industry.