3 mins read 01 Oct 2021

Moon to Mars Initiative Round Three Grants Announced

A further $3 million in grants have been announced by the Australian Space Agency in the third round of the Moon to Mars initiative grants, going to four Australian businesses, boosting Australia’s space manufacturing and economy. 

Credit: ESA.

An additional $3 million of funding was awarded to four Australian companies in September under the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars initiative. This funding will help Australian space businesses break into international supply chains.  

“The grants also provide a tangible opportunity for Australian businesses to support the transformation of our space industry and contribute to projects that will support NASA’s Moon to Mars program.” said acting Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Angus Taylor.

The Moon to Mars initiative grants will help to boost the economy, strengthen Australia's space manufacturing base, and create new high-skilled jobs. The federal government plans to create an extra 20,000 jobs in the space sector by 2030 and triple the size of the space sector to $12 billion.

“The space sector is one of our six National Manufacturing Priorities and these grants directly contribute to building the skills and capabilities of Australian space businesses so they can scale up their operations and become competitive in global markets,” said Minister Taylor.

The four recipients of the Supply Chain Capability Improvement grants are Gilmour Space Technologies (\$1,000,000), Crystalaid Manufacture (\$538,882), Black Sky Aerospace (\$678,487), and Inovor Technologies (\$750,000). These grants will be used for a variety of projects from developing competitive satellite manufacturing capability in Australia to producing qualified composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) that can hold fluids under pressure, for use in the aerospace industry. 

“Space and manufacturing go hand-in-hand and these projects are leveraging that relationship to drive economic growth and create jobs here in Australia,” said Mr Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency.

“With this support, these Australian companies will be able to expand their capability and tap into new supply chains around the world – which adds up to opportunities here at home.” 

Previous recipients of grants under the Agency’s Moon to Mars initiative include Advanced Navigation and Q-CTRL to build a world-first inertial navigation system, the University of Southern Queensland for a crop monitoring system in space, and Australian Remote Operations for Space And Earth Ltd for a Rover Feasibility Study aligning with NASA’s Artemis mission. Several other companies and universities have benefited so far from the Moon to Mars initiative grants.

The government has invested \$700 million in the civil space sector since 2018 with \$150 million going to the Moon to Mars initiative. The Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement program offers grants between \$250,000 and \$1 million. Applications will remain open until 1st May 2023.

More information about the grant can be found here.