Canberra is establishing a reputation as an incubator for world-leading cybersecurity, space and defence firms with a long-standing local business specialising in those fields being honoured as the 2018 ACT Exporter of the Year on 27 September.
The sector was strongly represented in the 2018 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards, with defence and space technology business Electro Operating Systems (EOS) taking out the top honour.
The locally-based weapons manufacturer and aerospace company recently opened a major new development and production facility in Hume.
This was established to meet demand for their remote weapon system, the R-400S-Mk2, after being awarded a $410 million contract earlier this year to supply the system to an overseas purchaser.
That contract brought sales of their remote weapon system to $600 million in the first 12 months of product release.
EOS will now go on to compete for the title of Australian Exporter of the Year.
Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry said local businesses are increasingly spreading their wings overseas.
“Our Territory performs well above its weight in knowledge, technology, innovation and service exports,” Ms Hendry said.
“We are easily outstripping other States and Territories on average annual goods and services export growth over the last five years, at 7.6%.”
The ACT is the home of the National Space Agency, and has a growing number of research and development companies supporting the Australian aeronautical industry. Approximately one in four Australian space sector jobs are located in Canberra.
The ACT’s value of exports in goods and services has grown from $1.59 billion in 2015 to $1.95 billion in 2018 – an increase of 23%.
ACT international education exports have increased by 58% from $555 million in 2014 to $879 million in 2017.
Other category winners were: Exporting To Asia (ACT only award) – IPT Renewables; Business Services – Thinkplace; Creative Industries – Thylacine Exhibition Design; Digital Technologies – Seeing Machines; E-Commerce – Gymaware; Education & Training – Isimulate; Environmental Solutions – Sentinel; Emerging Exporter – Instaclustr; Health & Biotechnology – Aspen Medical; Manufacturing – EOS Defence Systems; Minerals, Energy & Related Services – IPT Renewables; Regional Exporter –Telsoft; and for Small Business – Biometix.