The Square Kilometre Array - in Africa, Australia and the UK

Impact: Economic impacts, Environmental impacts, Societal impacts, Technological impacts


The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, due for completion in the next decade, will be the world’s largest astronomical instrument. It will be built by international industry at a cost of over €2B. The larger part will be sited in Africa (9 countries) with a complementary part in Australia. The impact to mid-2013 is on: i) international science policy and priorities (€26M); ii) multi-faceted human capacity building in Africa (401 bursaries); iii) business and employment involved in the construction of two large-scale SKA “precursor” instruments in South Africa and Australia (over €150M with 800 jobs in South Africa); iv) the local north-west economy (over €5M) where a new limited company to coordinate the SKA’s design and construction has been established at Jodrell Bank.

Category of impact

  • Economic impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • Societal impacts
  • Technological impacts