Nicola Sasanelli AM
Chairman & Founder
Nicola graduated from the University of Bari, Italy with a degree in Electronic Engineering. He went on to work as a researcher in microelectronics high-reliability components at Tecnopolis S&T Research Centre, Bari before being appointed as Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Canberra from 2001 to 2008.
From 2003 to 2013 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2007 he became an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia. In 2018 Nicola was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia – Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment and he was appointed on the board of the Space Industry Association of Australia. In the same year he was also appointed to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Italian Government for ‘promoting high-tech industry and R&D collaborations between Italy and Australia’.
In 2009, Nicola joined the South Australian Government as a Special Envoy for higher education research and technology transfer to Europe and later became Director for International R&D Collaborations.
In September 2017 the South Australian Space Industry Centre was created with Nicola as Director. It was the first State government office in Australian Jurisdiction. His focus was to support space industry growth and increase international R&D collaborations in South Australia’s space sector. As South Australian Government in 2016 he published the ‘Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (South Australia) Action Plan 2016-2020’ launching important initiatives such us the Space Capability Directory; SA Space Council; Australian Space Forum, etc.
In 2016-17 he was pivotal in assisting the Premier of South Australia Hon. Jay Weatherall MP lobbying the Federal Government in establishing the National Space Agency. In 2018 the Australian Space Agency was established.
In 2019 he was instrumental in establishing the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, a private consortium of universities and private companies co-funded by the Federal Government which is catalysing the transformation and growth of Australian space industry. He was seconded by the South Australian Government to SmartSatCRC as Director of Communication and Outreach.
In 2020 he founded, and for about three years was the CEO of the Andy Thomas Space Foundation, a charity organisation with DGR Status, dedicated to promoting Space as inspiration for students and young researchers.
In January 2023 he retired from the South Australian Government to establish the ‘Agora High-Tech’ and is now the current Chairman. ‘Agora High-Tech’ is a private consultancy company focused on enhancing collaborations and encouraging networking which aim to bring a significant advantage to the innovation processes.
Nicola’s main passion, outside of his interest in space, is painting.
Nicola’s Online Art Gallery