8 October 2020

About this Webinar

Space is a fast-growing and competitive commercial sector that is undergoing rapid transformation. In 2018, the sector was estimated to be worth around US$350 billion.

Space technology is smaller, lighter and more precise than ever before. The space supply chain is becoming more globalised, and innovation is accelerating at an unprecedented pace.

These transformations mean that Australian manufacturers of all sizes and skills can have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the space economy.

AMGC has assembled a panel of space industry experts who will discuss Federal Government grant funding, detail the importance of an experienced space launch partner, and present real-world case studies on how an Australian companies are translating their skills and capabilities into the manufacture of components required for the space industry.


Anthony Murfett, Deputy Head, Australian Space Agency
Anthony Murfett is Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency, where Anthony has oversight of strategy, policy and day-to-day operations and supports the Agency Head in monitoring the performance of the Agency.

Anthony has worked as Minister Counsellor, Industry, Science and Education at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and as General Manager of the Growth Centres Branch within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in Canberra. Anthony ensures the Agency delivers on its purpose to transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry that contributes to productivity and employment across the Australian economy. Dedicated to purpose, Anthony brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the Agency, valuing partnerships while drawing strength from diversity and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.

Professor Bronwyn Fox, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology / Space strategy

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Swinburne University of Technology. Prior to this appointment, Professor Fox was founding Director of the university’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute with a mission to support the transition of Australia’s manufacturing sector to Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution.


Michelle Gilmour, Head of Marketing & Communications, Gilmour Space

Michelle is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Gilmour Space. Michelle has over 20 years experience in High Net Worth investments marketing, research and communications in the banking and media industries before becoming a director at Gilmour Space.

Josh Hacko, Technical Director, Nicholas Hacko Watchmaker
Nicholas Hacko Watchmaker boasts the mantle for having the first and only wrist watch manufactured completely in Australia. Manufacturing a watch is one of the most difficult tasks to undertake in the field of mechanical engineering. The precision, techniques, knowledge and machining equipment required are incredible.

Like the capabilities of many Australian manufacturers, those of Nicholas Hacko are highly sought after by the space industry; their ability to create extraordinarily precise componentry that is small, and therefore lightweight, translates  seamlessly into the manufacture of components required for satellites. Josh will share the company’s experiences of transferring their skill set from watches to satellites and other space industry componentry. Learn how Nicholas Hacko is diversifying into space, and how your business can follow suit.

James Prior, Managing Director, Skykraft
James Prior is the Managing Director and co-founder of Skykraft, which is a SmallSat design and manufacturing business that delivers commercially viable space-based services to the end user.  With operations commencing in 2024, Skykraft’s foundation constellation is currently under development for the provision of space-based Air Traffic Management services.

James’ previous experience includes a 3 year stint as the Business and Commercialisation Manager for UNSW Canberra Space, which was a precursor for the establishment of Skykraft.  Prior to Skykraft and UNSW, James had a 19-year history with Airbus Defence & Space, where from 2013 to 2017 he was the Managing Director of Airbus DS Intelligence subsidiary. Prior to this position, James was based in Singapore where he established a new ASEAN business development position within Airbus for the development of government operated satellite ground receiving stations. His experience brings a well-rounded commercial understanding of the space and spatial industry from both the multinational and SME perspectives.

Blake Nikolic, Director, Black Sky Aerospace

An industry leader in the aerospace and defence environments, Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) is enabling Australia’s access to space. The company provides everything from launch vehicles and propulsion systems, through to ground support and infrastructure for aerospace companies from around the world. With an impressive space pedigree under their belt, BSA knows only too well that manufacturers keen to join the space supply chain need to demonstrate their experience in space—their componentry and products must be ‘battle tested’. As such, Blake will explain how BSA can help your company join the space race. If you, or your company, are looking for a launch partner, be sure to tune in.

Michael Haddy, National Director Defence and Space, AMGC
Michael commenced as Director – South Australia in April 2018. Michael has a three-decade-long background in business, commercialisation and software engineering. He founded Innovation Science in 1999, a company that has developed and deployed combat system simulation and specialist systems,and provided engineering expertise in Australia, the UK and Canada. He has served different senior roles at Rapid Prototyping Development and Evaluation Program, an initiative that delivers guidance and prototype solutions for Defence projects, between 2010 and 2017.

Michael Sharpe, National Director Industry, AMGC
Michael joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in 2017 and is the National Director – Industry. Michael has vast industrial experience including nearly three decades at Sharpe Bros (Australia), one of the nation’s leading road companies. From 2004 -2014, he served as Managing Director of the family business. From 2012 – 2016, he was on the board of HunterNet, a successful industry clustering initiative in the Hunter and Central Coast region and served as Chairman for a one-year period.