Boeing is going to open an office in South Australia this month and their new Adelaide office will support advanced military systems and leading edge research and development over the long term—the hub will work closely with universities, other tertiary institutions and research organizations.
Boeing’s presence in Australia is already its largest outside of the United States, employing more 3,000 staff nationally, with the majority in Queensland. However, this will be the first time the company has had a presence in South Australia, which is positioning itself as the nation’s “Defence State”.
Adelaide is poised to become a global centre of excellence for the defence sector with more than AU$100 billion worth of major industry projects in the pipeline. Recent investment in innovation in South Australia includes an AU$230m Centre for Defence Industry Capability backed by the Australian Federal Government. The state is home to several major defence companies including the Australian Submarine Corporation, BAE Systems and SAAB. It is also home to the Defence Teaming Centre, the peak defence industry body in South Australia with 24 member companies.
Australia’s largest shipbuilding hub, Techport, is located in South Australia and hosts the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, which is building three next-generation destroyers for the Australian Navy. Techport is also responsible for the sustainment program for the Collins-class submarine fleet and is expected to be where 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be built by French shipbuilder DCNS for the Royal Australian Navy.
South Australia has a long history in the space industry, which started when the Woomera Test Range was established in 1947 about 450km north of Adelaide. The outback range is still used and last year launched an experimental rocket flight as part of a joint research program, HIFiRE (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program).
In October 2016, South Australia and the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) agreed to jointly pursue space-related industries. In September, Adelaide will host more than 3,000 delegates from around the world at the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
Story by Jim Plouffe, Publishing Editor, The Lead