ASA launches grant guidelines to boost Aussie space capability

Max Blenkin

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

ASA launches grant guidelines to boost Aussie space capability
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The ASA said this funding was 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 (ISI) initiative – Expand Capability program were launched following consultations across the country.

“The initiative forms a key element of the Australian Civil Space Strategy and will align with Australia’s National Civil Space Priorities, building on our strengths in areas of competitive advantage,” ASA said.

The grants will open on 5 November and close on 17 December.

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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.

Program guidelines set out the key eligibility criteria. Firstly, it is only open to companies incorporated in Australia and publicly funded research organisations (PFRO).

Program objectives are to unlock international space opportunities for the Australian space sector, expand its capability and capacity and support job creation, demonstrate the Australian space sector’s ability to successfully deliver space-related products and services internationally, and support projects.

Intended outcomes are to increase Australia’s reputation in the global space sector, lift the number and size of Australian businesses qualifying for access to opportunities with international space agencies and increase the number of businesses winning contracts and successfully delivering products and services to international space agency programs.

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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