Press release below from the State Government of Western Australia, Department of Premier and Cabinet. News item from the SKA Organisation also available.
- Premier welcomes international financial commitment to global mega science project co-hosted in Western Australia
- UK Government commits £100million to the Square Kilometre Array
- WA scientists and industry to benefit
Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett today welcomed news that the United Kingdom Government will invest more than £100million ($184million) in the construction phase of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
“This announcement shows the tremendous international commitment to this exciting mega science project,” the Premier said.
The UK Science Minister David Willetts made the announcement this week. Mr Willetts travelled to the Murchison earlier this month to visit the SKA site.
The SKA is a billion dollar global initiative to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope in WA and southern Africa.
Mr Willetts said this telescope would produce 10 times the current global traffic of the internet leading to new opportunities for Britain in data analysis leading to faster internets and smart phone technology.
Ten member countries, including Australia, the UK, South Africa and China, are collaborating to deliver the SKA, with more than 350 scientists and engineers from 100 institutions involved.
Mr Barnett said the SKA offered huge opportunities for Western Australia which would benefit enormously from the investment WA has made as well.
“Benefits realised through Western Australia’s $96.4million investment to date in radio astronomy will continue to grow over coming years,” the Premier said.
“This latest investment by the UK is great news for WA scientists.
“We have built a world-leading radio astronomy base here in the State and our scientists are poised to use this groundbreaking research facility to make new discoveries about our universe.”
Mr Barnett said the SKA also represented a major opportunity to diversify the State’s economy. Local industry stood to benefit from winning work to construct the SKA and to develop new capabilities and technologies that could be applied elsewhere.
More than $5.6million in Federal funding is already flowing to WA-based high tech companies and scientists involved in the design of the SKA telescope and data processing systems.
The new ideas, creative methods and powerful algorithms required to deal with this ‘big data’ are also likely to have applications in other areas ranging from minerals exploration and medicine.
As co-host of the SKA and home to the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Pawsey high performance supercomputing centre, WA is positioned to secure a place in the emerging big data sector.
- The WA Government has committed more than $96million to radio astronomy in support of the SKA
- The WA Government recently committed $26million to the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research to lead the State’s involvement in the SKA
- SKA Phase 1 construction is due to commence in 2018
- WA will be home to two SKA Phase 1 telescopes, comprising hundreds of thousands of low frequency antennae and 96 large mid-frequency dishes
- For more information on the SKA project, visit http://www.skatelescope.org
Premier’s Office – 6552 5000