10 May 2018

National Positioning Infrastructure well placed in the Federal Budget

MELBOURNE, THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018: The CRCSI welcomes the 2018 Federal Budget with funding of $64.0 million over four years from 2018-19 and $11.7 million in ongoing funding from 2022-23 for the National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI).

Dr Graeme Kernich, CRCSI CEO, says that in today’s world, precise positioning information is more important than ever.

“In a world where autonomous vehicles and drone-based parcel delivery are becoming close to reality, robust, reliable, accurate and precise positioning information is vital,” Kernich says.

“We have been working with partners, like Geoscience Australia, for the past several years to deliver applied research to create a multi-GNSS-enabled National Positioning Infrastructure.

“One of the grand challenges the CRCSI set with its partner base was to conduct research that solves impediments to the creation of a sparse, continental-scale, precise positioning NPI. Our research teams at Curtin University, RMIT, QUT and the University of New South Wales have been integral to the developments that have underpinned the NPI,” Kernich says.

“It was the CRCSI that first conceived the idea of a nationwide integrated precise positioning framework back in 2008. This subsequently became known as the NPI and has since been led by Geoscience Australia, to operationalise the research,” he says.

“We are delighted to see the NPI being funded. This will allow our nation to drive innovation and deliver broad cross-sector benefits to a range of industries, including the fledgling autonomous vehicle sector and the ever-growing consumer market,” Kernich says.

“The NPI has been estimated to deliver at least $32.0 billion of cumulative benefits to the agriculture, mining and construction sectors alone by 2030. With our partners we have already achieved several world-firsts, including using an Australian generated, satellite-delivered correction message to guide Australia's first fully autonomous robotic tractor in real time, and the development of a novel approach to precise GNSS positioning that reduces the dependence on ground infrastructure,” Kernich says.

“Research and innovation take time and investment. The NPI is the culmination of about a dozen projects with over 30 government, academic, and industry players involved. Again, we welcome the government’s funding announcement and congratulate Geoscience Australia for their leadership and commitment in delivering on Australia’s priority science objectives.

“We look forward to the implementation of the NPI where all Australians will have access to reliable, accurate location information whenever and wherever they need it.”

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For Interview: Dr Graeme Kernich, CEO, CRCSI
Contact: Stephanie Pradier, Communication Manager, CRCSI
+61 4 24 568 314,

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