Firms in the space sector often internationalize. Expanding abroad is an important way to grow business. Internationalization is sometimes difficult, though. As firms leave familiar markets and enter new ones, they often need support to understand what are at first unknown environments. Chambers are organizations representing expatriate business communities that provide such support. To learn more about how chambers support internationalizing space firms, we spoke to Thomas Mueller. He is the Space Coordinator at the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
What strengths exist in Germany’s space sector?
Germany is competitive in both the industrial and research areas of the space sector. It achieves this through a combination of cutting-edge engineering expertise, significant resource allocation, and a strong desire to be on the forefront of space exploration. Germany makes significant contributions to manufacturing, space science, telecommunications, exploration, and human spaceflight. All the while, it manages to integrate its innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises into activities in the space sector. Additionally, being part of significant European space developments and part of the European space network allows Germany’s space sector to collaborate with many relevant partners. This in turn encourages it to be highly competitive.
What opportunities exist for foreign firms in Australia’s space sector?
The Australian market is currently focusing on low Earth orbit opportunities such as the development of small, low-cost rockets, purpose-built for today’s era of small satellites. By focusing on this segment of the market, Australia should be able to innovate as well as support mission profiles that are more cost-effective if conducted from launch facilities on Australian soil. There are also developments in onboard processing, navigation, remote sensing, and additive manufacturing in the space sector that are supported by government funding. Australia has a strong biomedical and medical research sector with a history of successful international collaboration. All of these areas are supported by a well-integrated and enthusiastic space community, and they present opportunities for foreign firms.
What roles do chambers of business play in helping firms internationalize?
Foreign business chambers such as the German-Australian Chamber help organizations navigate local business environments. We help firms clear the hurdles of establishing a business in Australia. We have a multidisciplinary team that can provide guidance and consulting services across many industries. The German-Australian Chamber is specifically mandated to provide support related to bilateral agreements between Germany and Australia. There are such agreements in place for the energy and space sectors, for instance. We further aim to connect industry players with the governments in both Germany and Australia.