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Australian Space Agency signs with United Kingdom Space Agency

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International partnerships

2 October 2018

On 2 October 2018, the Australian Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom Space Agency. It provides a framework for collaborative activities and the exchange of information, technology and personnel between both nations.

Read the full statement below.

Memorandum of Understanding between Australian Space Agency and the United Kingdom Space Agency

The United Kingdom Space Agency, an Executive Agency of the Government of the United Kingdom within the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, having its headquarters at Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 1SZ, United Kingdom, represented by its Chief Executive Officer; and the Australian Space Agency, an Agency of the Commonwealth of Australia within the Department of Industry, Innovation of Industry House, Binara St., Canberra City, Canberra, created in July 2018, represented by the Head of the Australian Space Agency; hereinafter referred to individually as ‘Participant’ or collectively as ‘Participants’,

HAVING regard to the wishes of the Participants to cooperate on civil space activities for their mutual benefit;

CONSIDERING the deep history and friendship between the United Kingdom and Australia;

CONSIDERING the common interest of the United Kingdom and Australia in the use of space technology for peaceful purposes;

RECOGNISING the growing relationship between UK and Australian organisations, such as the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) on the NovaSAR project, to develop technologies and operations capability to provide research access and commercial opportunity to space data;

RECOGNISING the growing collaboration between Australia and the UK on advanced research and development projects, such as the Airbus Zephyr ™ High Altitude Pseudo Satellites project;

RECOGNISING the advantages and benefits arising from international cooperation in the space field;

HAVE REACHED THE FOLLOWING UNDERSTANDINGS:

1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (‘MoU’) is to:

  1. provide a framework for collaborative activities and for reviewing areas of common interest in the civil aspects of space;
  2. facilitate the interchange of information, technology and personnel in areas of mutual interest;
  3. nominate relevant points of contact for both Participants.

2. Areas of Cooperation

2.1 Subject to the laws and regulations applicable to them, the Participants, through consultation, will decide upon the specific items and scope of cooperation within the framework of this MoU.  The proposed collaborative activities are as follow:

  1. Participants will facilitate collaboration as appropriate, including the exchange of information and expertise, in the UK and Australian space sectors, including:
  • Space science, technology and applications highlighting:
    • Communications technologies and services
    • Position, Navigation and Timing
    • Earth Observation
    • Space Situational Awareness
    • Remote Asset Management
    • Advanced emerging research and development
  • Exchange of views on space policy, law and regulation;
  • Human capital development in the space field and related areas;
  1. Participants will explore the options and approaches for Australian industry collaboration and engagement on possible joint projects (subject to assessment) related to economic and societal development;
  2. Participants will jointly identify suitable projects of common interest that can be supported and developed in both countries.  Other areas of cooperation may be identified by mutual consent of the Participants

3. Financial and legal provisions

3.1 Both Participants acknowledge that any activities undertaken through the MoU will:

  1. comply with all relevant export controls on a case-by-case basis; and
  2. respect intellectual property rights in accordance with all applicable laws

3.2 The Participants also acknowledge that this MoU will place no financial, legal or other type of commitment on either Participant or their Governments.

4. Implementation

4.1 The Participants will establish a joint steering committee under the framework of this MoU to monitor the effectiveness and applicability of the present MoU and examine proposals relating to plans for cooperation.  This will be co-chaired by the Participants at a senior management level or their representatives. 

4.2 The Participants will arrange meetings by mutual consent to review progress on the implementation of this MoU.

5. Amendment

5.1 This MoU may be amended by mutual consent of the Participants.  The Participant wishing to make an amendment will notify the other in writing.  Any amendment will take effect when each Participant has notified the other in writing of its consent to the amendment.

6. Status

6.1 This MoU is a statement of intent, but it is not intended as a legally binding document and does not create legal obligations under international law.  Additional fields of cooperation may be jointly determined by the Participants supplementary to this MoU.

6.2 This MoU will be without prejudice to the cooperation of either Participant with other States, Space Agencies or any other entity. 

7. Duration and termination

7.1 This MoU will come into effect on the date of signature by both Participants and will continue in operation until terminated by either Participant giving six months’ written notice to the other.

Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom Space Agency [408KB PDF]

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