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CSIRO SME Connect assisted Gilmour Space Technologies to secure funding support, through the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme, to research, develop and test their new hybrid propulsion system for orbital launch vehicles.

The challenge

Dreaming of space

Gilmour Space Technologies (Gilmour Space) is a leading venture-backed Queensland rocket company that designs, develops, manufactures, and launches low-cost launch vehicles for the global small satellite market.

Gilmour Space Technologies: Australia's sovereign access to space

Gilmour Space is developing a new breed of orbital launch vehicle to service the world's fast-growing small satellite market. Their new and innovative hybrid propulsion system required significant research, development, and testing to deliver a high performing and commercially competitive system.

Our response

Engaging research expertise

Gilmour Space recognised the need for additional expertise in advanced mechanical engineering design skills and capabilities to help it develop, prototype, and deploy a suitable testing platform for their unique hybrid launch systems.

They turned to the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme for advice and assistance with funding opportunities. CSIRO SME Connect Innovation Connections Facilitator Mitch McGuire assisted the business in accessing an Innovation Connections Graduate Placement and Researcher Placement grants to support funding and access these expertise capabilities.

The results

Reaching for the stars

The program has led Gilmour Space to collaborate with senior researchers at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Hypersonics in developing new support systems for the Eris orbital launch vehicle program.

This early support has helped the company to accelerate its progress to launch. As of 2021, Gilmour Space has begun main engine testing ahead of their first Eris rocket launch in 2022, which will be carrying payloads from two Australian space companies.

Gilmour Space has since also received federal funding support from a CRC-P grant and AMGC grant. The team is now working hard to launch the first Australian-built rocket to orbit.

 

Our journey with innovation Connections, and the Entrepreneurs' Programme more broadly, has helped to connect us with the specialised skills and expertise we needed to further our rocket development in Australia. This support was especially needed and appreciated in our early years as a start-up.

—Adam Gilmour, Chief Executive Officer, Gilmour Space Technologies

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