3 mins read 22 Feb 2021

Australian and Indian Space Agencies Sign New Agreement

Australian Space Agency signs a new agreement with India’s national space agency, ISRO, supporting collaboration and opportunity between the two countries growing space economies. Additionally, the Space Agency has announced new space manufacturing investment opportunities.

Credit: Australian Space Agency/LinkedIn.

The Australian Government has signed an updated agreement with the Indian Government to expand cooperation and collaboration between the two nation’s growing space economies, which builds on the 2020 strategic partnership established between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed last week by both the Australian Space Agency, and India’s national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) opening up opportunities for Australian organisations to work closely with India’s space program.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the new agreement strengthens existing ties between Australia and India and allows the two countries to work closer than ever in space for the benefit of both nations.  

“Space is an exciting frontier and we can achieve great things by working together, including enhancing space science, technology and research collaboration – all while boosting our economies and creating jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“As one of Australia’s National Manufacturing Priorities, space is a key focus of our Government and we are delighted to work closely with India.

“Discussions are already underway for Australia to host vital tracking infrastructure as part of India’s Gaganyaan missions, which will place India as the fourth country to put humans in space.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said the signing symbolises the importance of the strong collaborative partnership between the Agency and ISRO, which will look to identify new areas of cooperation in space technology, applications, education and outreach.

“ISRO’s experience in spacecraft and systems engineering and ground stations to support space activities makes them a strategic partner for Australia as we grow our own national space capability and open doors for Australian business internationally,” Mr Palermo said.

“Today’s signing signals a valuable opportunity for Australia to play a role in the Gaganyaan missions, further engage industry to grow our sector, and expand cooperation with India in space, science and research activities in the years to come.”

Over the last two years the Australian Space Agency has entered into several MoUs and additional strategic partnerships with other nations, as well as international space agencies, working towards the goal of increasing the size and amount of people employed within the Australian Space Sector.

The Australian Government last week also announced a $1.3 Billion investment into manufacturing sectors (as part of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative – MMI), starting with opportunities for space-based businesses to be the first to apply for applicable grants that can assist in commercialising and expanding their products into global supply chains.

“From products launched into space like nano and small satellites, through to space components like sensors and communication arrays – Australia has a number of unique opportunities across space manufacturing,” said Minister Andrews.

“These opportunities are strengthened by our world-class research, our geographic location and existing advanced manufacturing expertise.”

Whilst the space sector is the first release under the MMI, other manufacturing sectors and roadmaps will be released in the near future, including medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and critical mineral processing.