Industry Minister heads for US to promote Aussie space industry

Max Blenkin

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews has set off for the US for a week to spruik Australia’s space industry capabilities at the International Astronautical Conference.

Industry Minister heads for US to promote Aussie space industry
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That follows the visit by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the commitment to work with the US on the Artemis program to return to the moon.

Minister Andrews said the growing opportunities for Australian businesses in the space industry, as well as emerging technologies and industries, would be the focus of her week long visit.

That will take her for meetings with US government and industry representatives in Washington, DC; New York; Orlando and San Francisco to explore opportunities to grow Australian businesses, particularly in the space sector.

"The world is on the cusp of a space boom and Australia’s space businesses and advanced manufacturers are ready to seize the opportunities for growth," she said.

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"My visit follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that our government will invest $150 million in Australian businesses, so they can join the supply chains created by NASA’s plan to revisit the moon and travel on to Mars.”

The minister said Australian businesses had the expertise and technology needed to compete in a global space economy.

“I’m travelling to the United States to ensure our space, manufacturing and digital technology businesses are on the front foot when NASA is looking for reliable suppliers and mission partners,” Minister Andrews said.

"The aim of the visit is to strengthen existing partnerships and create new agreements that will benefit our space sector, as well as boost our digital and manufacturing industries.

"When the Morrison government established the Australian Space Agency last year, it was our clear signal that we see the potential for economic growth in the space industry. All up the Coalition has invested over $600 million in the space industry as part of our plan to grow the sector and create 1.25 million jobs over the next five years."

During the trip she will attend the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, the world’s largest space event, which brings together agencies from across the world.

She will also meet NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr Kelvin Droegemeier, US chief technology officer Mike Kratsios and National Science Foundation director Dr France Cordova, as well as executives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Virgin Galactic and Microsoft.

In addition to seeking opportunities for Australia in the space industry, Minister Andrews will discuss the economic potential of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and blockchain. She will also look at opportunities to grow Australia’s waste recycling industry.

Minister Andrews will address the US-Australia Space Cooperation Forum and the American Australian Association Business Council to discuss the potential to deepen economic ties in the space economy and other industry sectors.

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