Dunedin 'perfect' for space centre role

Greg Bodeker outlines the vision behind the Centre for Space Science Technology and its relationship to GigCity Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Greg Bodeker outlines the vision behind the Centre for Space Science Technology and its relationship to GigCity Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Dunedin's GigCity technology makes it the perfect place to deal with a ''data tsunami'' generated by the new Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST).

Greg Bodeker, whose firm Bodeker Scientific was the leading organisation in the bid for the establishment of the centre in Alexandra, spoke in Dunedin yesterday.

He told about 40 people at the Dunedin Public Library Dunedin's internet connectivity rates and data storage capability meant it was well positioned to be a leading start-up destination.

The CSST would benefit from the city's infrastructure and the ability to work with leading technology and the developers he believed would based there.

In November, CSST was awarded $14.7million in government funding to establish an international satellite data exchange and work with businesses and researchers to build New Zealand's first fleet of cube satellites.

The centre would operate as an independently governed organisation, and the satellites could provide space-generated data to New Zealand industries, including forestry, farming and fisheries.

Satellites which could provide soil moisture maps so water was dispersed only where it needed to be had the potential to stop run-off into rivers, he said.

Another use could be the detection and tracking of illegal fishing vessels.

The centre would put the call out for companies interested in using the technology later this year.

At present the company was appointing its board of directors and chief executive, he said.

About 20 fulltime equivalent staff would be based in Alexandra, and a further 20 would be spread across offices in Dunedin, Lincoln and New Plymouth.

The Dunedin office would have four staff by the end of the year, and would grow as demand did.

Dr Bodeker, who is based in Alexandra, said the centre would be a ''shot in the arm'' for the town.

''Responses suggest people are very excited, and extremely bewildered.''

Twenty staff and their families would be based in Alexandra, and he hoped the more well paid staff would put their money back into the local economy.

Dr Bodeker also spoke to industry representatives at the Signal ICT Graduate School during his visit.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz


 

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