Applications open for Space Agency funding grants

Max Blenkin

The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has opened applications for the government’s new space grants program, which allocates sums from $100,000 to $4 million to eligible companies and research organisation.

Applications open for Space Agency funding grants
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This funding is for projects to build capability and capacity of the Australian space sector through engagement with international space agencies or their supply chains.

The guidelines for the International Space Investment Expand Capability program were launched in October following consultations across the country.

The government said these grants would support Australian businesses and research organisations to become involved with international space agencies or established international space programs.

The program objectives are to unlock international space opportunities for the Australian space sector, expand sector capability and capacity, and support job creation.

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They also aim to demonstrate the Australian space sector’s ability to successfully deliver space-related products and services internationally and to support projects contributing to building a vision and an Australian space sector that inspires businesses, the community and the next generation of space workforce, researchers and entrepreneurs.

Grants are only available to companies incorporated in Australia or to publicly funded research institutions.

Applications close on 17 December.

The grants program, launched in the budget, isn’t enormous – $15 million over three years, with $3 million in 2019-20, $5 million on 2020-21 and $7 million in 2021-22.

Eligible activities may include research and development, product and service development, commercialising existing products and services, process design and engineering, buying, constructing, installing or commissioning of equipment or software, relevant training and skills development, and collaboration and partnership development.

Those seeking grants will need to demonstrate that a a minimum 80 per cent of the investment will be made in Australia for the benefit of Australian space industry firms.

They will also need to show how the proposed project will build the capability and capacity of the Australian space sector and how it will support jobs creation and unlock international opportunities.

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