Skykraft, SmallSats and the weight of great coffee


Skykraft, SmallSats and the weight of great coffee

A small satellite design and manufacturing company is one of the tenants calling Launch on Northbourne home.

Skykraft Pty Ltd is one of six new tenants at the coworking space established by UNSW Canberra.

James Prior, Managing Director at Skykraft said that he could immediately see the benefits of working in a collaborative environment, rather than have the company housed in their own small office.

“The flexible working spaces, the ability to work closely with other start-ups and SME’s in similar or complimentary fields, access to a workspace for our spacecraft development work, access to UNSW’s Technical Services Group all contributed to our decision to move into Launch on Northbourne,” he said.

“A great coffee machine helped as well!”

As a start-up that was originally established to commercialise the Research and Development capabilities of UNSW Canberra Space, Skykraft recognise the benefits of working closely with a university.

“The relationships and connections made with UNSW staff that link Launch on Northbourne companies with relevant researchers, to support the development of joint projects such as CRC-P’s and to enable access to UNSW’s Defence Research Institute is invaluable,” Mr Prior said.

Skykraft is an Australian space services company whose capabilities include conceptualizing, designing, building, testing and operating Small Satellite constellations for a wide variety of applications, such as, Air Traffic Management, defence (Tactical data links and secure satellite communications from LEO orbits), Internet of Things (IoT), maritime surveillance and border protection, agricultural monitoring, communications and earth observation. 

With the rapid and significant growth of Australia’s space sector, Mr Prior said the work of the company is as important as ever.

“Having a sovereign space capability enables the creation of a new high-tech industry, the development of new research opportunities through our universities and the ability to contribute to global efforts in understanding and monitoring our world.  This includes both commercial and defence related opportunities that both rely on space access. 

As to some of the other advantages of working at Launch on Northbourne, Mr Prior speaks like a true Canberran.

“Close proximity to the city, Braddon and Dickson for eating out and coffees, easy access to the light rail, networking opportunities with the other tenants and the general awareness the ACT government and defence have of Launch on Northbourne as a place where innovative companies are based,” he said.

Launch on Northbourne is a dedicated collaborative workspace that has brought together innovative space and cyber companies as a catalyst for enabling businesses, government, academics and the ACT community to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology.