The Australian Space Agency has formally entered into memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with counterpart agencies in Canada and the UK as part of the government’s plan to launch a vibrant new space industry in Australia.
These MoUs will help all three nations develop their respective space programs and take advantage of the rapidly-expanding global space industry.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the MoUs, signed overnight by the head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, president of the Canadian Space Agency, Sylvain Laporte, and chief executive of the United Kingdom Space Agency Dr Graham Turnock.
"Forging international partnerships is vital to building Australia’s space industry and ensuring our businesses can compete on the world stage," Minister Andrews said.
The signing of the new MoUs took place at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) being held this week in Bremen, Germany. The IAC is an annual meeting of international space agencies and industry, and was hosted for the second time in Australia in 2017.
As part of the 2018-19 budget, the government is investing $41 million over four years to establish and operate Australia’s first-ever national space agency. The government is also investing more than $260 million to develop world-leading core satellite infrastructure and technologies, including better GPS for Australian business and regional Australians, and improved access to satellite imagery.
Dr Clark said, "These signings provide a further positive contribution that co-operation in space science, research, technology, services, applications and international governance can bring. Growing existing relationships with the United Kingdom on the likes of CSIRO’s NovaSar satellite project, Airbus’ Zephyr solar-powered unmanned aircraft and Canada’s co-operation in Earth observation with Geoscience Australia provides more opportunity to jointly identify projects like these that can be supported and developed in both countries."
The Space Agency’s focus will be on fostering international space partnerships and opening the door for local businesses to compete in the global space economy, helping to drive job growth, with initial priorities including:
- Communications technologies, services and ground stations;
- Space situational awareness and debris monitoring;
- Positioning, navigation and timing infrastructure;
- Earth observation services;
- Research and development;
- Remote asset management; and
- Developing a strategy to position Australia as an international leader in specialised space capabilities.
The Australian Space Agency is working to transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry.