Thursday, May 12, 2011

Earth Observation contributes at least $3.3 Billion to Australian Economy

Prepared in September 2010, but released more recently on the Geoscience Australia website, the "The economic value of earth observation from space" report has started putting some economic framework around the value of earth observation to the Australian economy, and conservatively estimates that in 2008-2009, Earth Observation contributed at least $3.3Billion to the Australian economy.

It also estmates that:

"Additional benefits in climate change adaptation, emergency response and natural resource management are conservatively valued at $1.0 billion per year."

The report goes on to highlight just how broadly based the use of Earth Observation data is across the Australian economy, and in particular, the extensive use throughout the various branches and departments of the Australian Governments. 

It goes on to discuss several different government program examples of how Earth Observation data is used, and gives a brief glimpse of the myriad of current applications and programs in Australia, including Climate Change, Natural Resource Management, Natural Disasters and Emergency Management, and National Security.

It is also one of the first reports to put some economic data around the risks facing Australia loosing its access to Space capabilities including:

"The economic cost of a denial of service requiring ‘source shift’ is likely to be at least $100 million in the year during which it occurs."

"A complete denial of service would put billions of dollars of benefits at risk - even if the impacts on Australia’s defence preparedness are ignored."

Perhaps a somewhat disconcerting outcome - particularly the statement "even if the impacts on Australia's defence preparedness are ignored!". I certainly hope this conclusion is spiking attention in Canberra.

The report also suggests that the future is looking positive for the sector:

"it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the productivity related impacts on GDP and the other benefits could increase by around 30 per cent by 2015."

Overall the report is a good start in Australia understanding the enormous impact of Earth Observations from Space. I did get the sense reading the document that every time a number was produced, it was accompanied with "a conservative estimate", which tells me we are yet to consolidate these numbers, but also, reality is likely to produce a higher result.

No comments:

Post a Comment