Geo Week News

November 28, 2023

Fostering the Australian Geospatial Industry: Enhancing Practical Skill Acquisition through University-Industry Collaboration


Geospatial Professionals have the aim to analyse and interpret information about locations on Earth. Spatial experts contribute significantly to a wide range of industries, using geographic data to understand and address complex challenges and make informed decisions based on spatial information.

The growth of the geospatial industry around the world is about harnessing advanced technology to improve decision-making, optimize resource management, improve infrastructure planning and address challenges in areas such as urban development, disaster management, agriculture, environmental conservation, national security and health.

Spatial information science and systems is a rapidly expanding area Geospatial market, Geospatial data and applications will be a key technological source that drives productivity in the world’s economies post 2030, improved efficiency across various sectors.

“The current global geospatial market is estimated to reach USD520 billion in 2022 and this is expected to be USD1.44 trillion by 2030, enabling a further USD10.2 trillion of economic activity.”

Source: SPACE+SPATIAL Industry Growth Roadmap | Towards 2030 (

When transfer the data into a graph, from USD520 billion in 2022 to USD1.44 trillion in 2030, it is such an impactful magnitude:

Unlocking Potential Benefits from Dynamic Academia-Industry Collaborations

Figure 1 - Geospatial Industry: Economic Evolution 2022-2030

The geospatial industry in Australia has experienced growth, driven by advances in technology and growing recognition of the importance of spatial data across a number of sectors. The Australian government has demonstrated a commitment to supporting and promoting the geospatial industry through a number of initiatives. 

Government Space Expenditure as % National GDP

Figure 2 - Australian Government Space Expenditures Vs Comparator Nations | Source: Space +Spatial Industry Growth RoadMap 2030, p.15

Below is the graph with different sessions where the Australian government wants to go in terms of investment. Scenario 1 is what the government hopes to achieve, surpassing scenario 2 which would track the global growth of the geospatial industry, as well as surpassing scenario 3 by surpassing the predicted growth bands for Australian GDP. 

Australia Space Sector (Growth model various options)

Graph 1 - Three Australian Space Industry Growth Scenarios | Source: Space +Spatial Industry Growth RoadMap 2030, p.18

To promote the growth of the space sector in Australia, the government can take several strategic actions. These actions collectively create an enabling environment for the growth of the space sector in Australia, promoting innovation, economic development and international collaboration. It is important to note that these recommendations should be adapted based on evolving industry needs and global trends.

Australia's Vision for Space Sector Growth

Figure 3 - Australia's Vision for Space Sector Growth

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Rapid technological advancement: merging digital, physical, and biological technologies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is fundamentally reshaping workplaces change revolves around the integration of advanced technologies.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by the integration of digital technologies, data that continues to shape the space sector, promoting innovation, efficiency and new opportunities for exploring and utilizing space resources. As technology continues to evolve, the space industry will likely see new advancements influenced by the ongoing digital transformation.

Geospatial Transformation: Navigating Industry 4.0 with Advanced GIS Technologies

Figure 4 - Industry 4.0 technology | Source: MDPI and ACS Style, 2020, p.2

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is revolutionizing the GIS industry by integrating advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT, enhancing automation, spatial analytics, and the management of large-scale geospatial data.

Australians Embracing Multiple Career Changes

By 2040, the way we work and learn will look vastly different from today. Advances in technologies like automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. Australians will need new skills to adjust to the future of work: will study more to learning.

By 20240, most Australians will have changed jobs multiple times

Chart 1 - Australians' Multi-Career Paths | Source: Future Skills, 2019, p.12

The future workforce is likely to prioritize and invest time in lifelong learning to remain adaptable, acquire new skills, and navigate the dynamic landscape of work. This commitment to continuous learning is essential for individual career success and overall workforce resilience in the face of evolving industries and technologies.

 “This means the workplace will need to become the most important arena for updating and refining a worker’s skills.”

Source: Future Skills, 2019, p.37

Time future workers are required to spend learning over their working lives

Chart 2 - Future Workforce Trends | Source: Future Skills, 2019, p.14

Reskilling demand

The younger generation in Australia needs to invest in a diverse set of skills to navigate the changing employment landscape successfully, this includes technical proficiency, soft skills, adaptability, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Collaboration between the government, educational institutions, and industries is vital to create an environment that fosters skill development and prepares the younger workforce for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

As Industry 4.0 becomes the norm, there is a growing imperative for individuals to enhance their skills through continuous education to keep pace with technological advancements. Australians will need to invest in new skills and additional training. Short courses and micro-credentials to help people develop skills in specific areas they need.

“They will also need to make more mentoring and on-the-job learning opportunities available, as demand for such informal training will need to double over the course of the average Australian’s working life by 2040.”

Source: Future Skills, 2019, p.46

In the era of rapid technological advancements, the younger generation will need to be exceptionally well-prepared, acquiring advanced skills and knowledge to thrive in an evolving and competitive landscape. Young Generation will need to be much better prepared than their parents to keep up with a highly dynamic work environment, spend more time learning than any generation before them.

“Young Australians are spending more time learning over the course of their working lives than any other generation before them and this is forecast to increase.”

Source: Future Skills, 2019, p.14

Naturally, the market will become even more demanding

Employers will face a rapidly changing landscape in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Overall, jobs are becoming more skilled in all categories. Meeting these challenges will require a dynamic environment and proactive approach to continuous learning and development.

“New industries will emerge and old ones will disappear. Labour markets will be challenged by large shortages of particular competencies and simultaneously by an abundance of competencies that are no longer required.”

Source: Lee et al., 2018, p.3

Essential to empowering the Young Generation for a sustainable future. Young Generation is a driving force for progress, innovation, and positive change in society. Participation in various sectors is crucial for a sustainable and prosperous future. Employers need to be ready to invest in develop and supporting experience that will help younger people entering the industry, transition to work facilitate participants' access to education and training.

 “Collaboration between universities and industries is critical for skills development (education and training).”

Source: Guimon, Jose, 2013, p.1

Significant impact on the effectiveness of knowledge exchange because it refers to the process of sharing information, knowledge and expertise between individuals, organizations or communities. The effectiveness of knowledge exchange can be influenced by several factors.

“...the motivations to collaborate with universities may include gaining access to complementary technological knowledge.”

Source: Guimon, Jose, 2013, p.4

Making the transition from student to the world of practice is a challenge, a pathway is needed for academics to gain daily skills not typically taught in the classroom. A conceptual framework outlining the dimensions of knowledge transfer serves as a guiding structure to facilitate the process of academics gaining practical, day-to-day skills essential for navigating the transition from theory to real-world application.

A conceptual framework delineating knowledge transfer dimensions between Industry, University, and Government establishes a structured guide for facilitating the exchange of expertise, fostering collaboration, and enhancing the synergy between academic research, industrial innovation, and government policies. Exemplified below:

Crafting a Conceptual Framework for Multidimensional Knowledge Transfers

Figure 6. Conceptual framework of knowledge transfers dimensions | Source: Schofield, T., 2013, p.46

Qualified and competent are not synonyms

Moving business environment university-industry collaborations play a critical role in contributing to national economies. Academia-industry interactions create a mutually beneficial environment, fostering innovation, research advancement, workforce development, and economic growth. These collaborations contribute to a more dynamic and responsive ecosystem that benefits both the academic and industrial sectors.

Unlocking Potential Benefits from Dynamic Academia-Industry Collaborations

Figure 5. Potential benefits from academia-industry interactions | Source: Schofield, T., 2013, p.41

Empower young Australians in the job market, graduates/young generation who have the professional skills needed to transition into the job market. Young people have high expectations that challenge students to achieve and many young people in Australia find themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to securing their starting position: they don't get a job because they don't have the necessary experience and they don't get the experience because they don't have a job.

In a competitive job market, the internship opportunity benefits and contributes significantly as references, skill acquisition, professional experience, the potential for a job offer are crucial to a job seeker's success and as well as communication skills, confidence and self-efficacy.

“These internships often replace entry-level jobs; now, you can’t get an entry-level job without having done internships.”

Source: Chen, Colleen; McKenzie ,Joe; Dimity, Mannering; Schields, Lachlan, 2015, p. 12

Perceptions of Skills Developed from Internships

Chart 3: Perceptions of Skills Developed from Internships | Source: Galloway et al., 2014, p. 660

The industry has struggled to meet the demands of the national shortage of skills in the market, which at the same time requires the search for more qualified professionals ready to work in the geospatial industry. Creating a long-term perspective is key to cultivating a cycle environment for young professionals due to the rapid evolution of the space industry. 

The campaign "Stop hiring the resume, start hiring the attitude"

The campaign "Stop hiring the resume, start hiring the attitude" emphasizes the idea that employers should prioritize a candidate's attitude and soft skills over their qualifications or experience listed on a resume. The aim is to shift the focus from traditional hiring practices that heavily weigh educational background and work experience to recognizing the importance of personal attributes, such as a positive attitude, adaptability, communication skills, and a strong work ethic.

Campaign #AttitudeMatters #FutureOfWork

Figure 7. Prioritize Attitude Over Resume | Source:  LinkedIn

This campaign encourages employers to rethink their hiring criteria and consider a more holistic approach to evaluating candidates, looking beyond just the qualifications listed on a resume. It aligns with the idea that a candidate's attitude can be a better predictor of their potential success and contribution to a company than their formal credentials alone.

Campaign #AttitudeMatters #FutureOfWork

Figure 8. Prioritize Attitude Over Resume | Source: LinkedIn

The Fourth Industrial Revolution transformed the skills landscape, making attitudes and interpersonal skills increasingly valuable. While qualifications and experience continue to be important, employers must recognize that a candidate's ability to adapt, collaborate, innovate and communicate effectively is crucial to meeting the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace.


The industry needs to grow sustainably, for this our graduates/young generation must be internationally competitive (more qualified, trained and resilient). Provide practical experience and real-world projects integrated with vocational education and training as an industry-led sector based on skills-based training and applied learning, to do this, ensure the young generation is ready to contribute to the Australian space industry.

In a competitive market, references, the acquisition of skills, the time spent in a professional role and the possibility of a job offer have significant value for job seekers. The development of reciprocal relationships between recent graduates and companies is essential for the formation of a strong geospatial identity.


Australia Home Affairs, 2021. Supporting Australia's COVID recovery through Skilled Migration (

Chen, Colleen; McKenzie, Joe; Dimity, Mannering; Schields, Lachlan (2015). Submission by Interns Australia. subdr0326-workplace-relations.docx (

Future Skills. AlphaBeta. February (2019).

Guimon, Jose. (2013). Promoting university-industry collaboration in developing countries (Innovation Policy Platform,OECD and World Bank). 10.13140/RG.2.1.5176.8488. (PDF) Promoting university-industry collaboration in developing countries (Innovation Policy Platform,OECD and World Bank) (

Galloway, L., Marks, A., & Chillas, S. (2014). The use of internships to foster employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship in the IT sector. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 21(4), 653–667.

MDPI and ACS Style Nguyen Duc, D.; Tran Huu, T.; Nananukul, N. A Dynamic Route-Planning System Based on Industry 4.0 Technology. Algorithms (2020), 13, 308.

Lee, M., Yun, J. J., Pyka, A., Won, D., Kodama, F., Schiuma, G., Park, H., Jeon, J., Park, K., & Jung, K. (2018). How to respond to the fourth industrial revolution, or the second information technology revolution? Dynamic new combinations between technology, market, and society through open innovation. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 4(3), 21.

Productivity Commission Review of the Workplace Relations Framework (2015). Submission DR326 - Interns Australia - Workplace Relations Framework - Public inquiry (

Schofield, T. (2013). Critical Success Factors for Knowledge Transfer Collaborations between University and Industry. The journal of research administration, 44, 38-56. EJ1156083.pdf (

Space +Spatial Industry Growth RoadMap 2030. SSIGR-Industry-Paper-FINAL-PRINTED.pdf (

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