South Australia, the self-described ‘Defence State’, is flexing its muscles and taking its defence know-how into related fields with an ongoing focus on the cyber and space sectors.
As the state gears up for the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the SA's Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said future jobs and investment in South Australia hinge on science based-industries, including the space sector.
Life on Mars, space settlements, solar sailing, space junk search and retrieval missions and South Australia’s role in the development of space tugs and space buses will be among the list of demonstrations and presentations at the 68th IAC, which is less than 50 days away.
Some of the just released planned highlights of the IAC, one of the largest conferences to be held in Adelaide, include a panel comprising some of the world’s best-known astronauts, a rundown of Bill Nye the Science Guy’s revolutionary solar sailing spacecraft and a presentation from billionaire Elon Musk.
The congress will include a NASA-hosted talk on how satellite technology can improve the Great Barrier Reef, along with an overview of next generation satellite servicing and refuelling programs.
The state also hosted a mock cyber attack last week, organised by Defence SA and the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC), to demonstrate the threats cyber attacks present to defence, national security and financial systems.
The mock attack was part of Defence SA's and DTC's industry forum aimed at improving the cyber resilience and capabilities of South Australian companies bidding for work in the lucrative defence industry.
Minister Hamilton-Smith said cyber crime is now the seventh biggest global economic threat and will cost Australia an estimated $16 billion over the next decade and US$294 billion globally.
The forum, the third in a series, included practical demonstrations of cyber attacks and threats, including phishing emails, malware and computer scams that allow hackers to steal files, access sensitive information and paralyse entire systems.
"Cyber vulnerability is a serious and evolving threat across all industries, including the high-tech, multibillion-dollar defence industry," said Minister Hamilton-Smith.
"Cyber attacks on large Australian companies and government agencies happen daily, and can have devastating impacts, so it is vital we protect ourselves and our information.
"South Australia is home to some of the world’s most complex and sophisticated defence projects, so it is important to ensure that the industries supporting defence are protected against cyber threats. The South Australian government is committed to building the state as a natural cyber hub and create the best possible future for our defence industry."
Earlier this year, global technology giant NEC Australia opened its $4.38 million Global Security Intelligence Centre in Adelaide to address growing global demand for cyber security.