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Australian Space Agency signs with Goonhilly Earth Station

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25 February 2019

On 25 February 2019, the Australian Space Agency and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd signed a statement of intent to collaborate and create new opportunities in the space economy in Australia, the UK and beyond.

The new statement of strategic intent and cooperation aims to help progress the Australian space sector and make the benefits of space more accessible for businesses, governments and institutions.

Read the full statement below.

Joint Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation between Australian Space Agency and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd

The Commonwealth of Australia as represented by the Australian Space Agency, part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, hereinafter referred to as “the Agency” and represented by Dr Megan Clark AC, Head Australian Space Agency and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, hereinafter referred to as “Goonhilly” and represented by Ian Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Goonhilly.

  • Recalling that the Agency’s purpose is to transform and grow the Australian space sector and the broader use of space across the Australian economy and to inspire and deliver benefit to all Australians;
  • Recalling that the Agency areas of strategic priority include communications technologies and services; positioning, navigation and timing; space situational awareness and debris monitoring; research and development (including leapfrog technologies); Earth observation services; and remote asset management in space and on Earth;
  • Recalling that the Agency is responsible for national civil space policy and coordination; international and national cooperation and partnership to achieve shared ambitions; Australia’s international obligations and treaties; building national capability in the space sector; and Australia’s regulations, obligations and licencing for the civil space sector.
  • Recalling that Goonhilly’s strategic mission is to be a recognised, international, significant space and data communications gateway and a centre of excellence in communications engineering, teleport services, R&D, and education; which continues to lead in developing and deploying advanced solutions.
  • Recalling that Goonhilly is a private British company focussed on developing a private, global deep space network to support both institutional and private space exploration; developing a global network of antennas for tracking low and medium Earth orbit satellites and launch vehicles.
  • Acknowledging that the Agency and Goonhilly share overlapping objectives to increase the size of opportunities available through enhancing the capability and competitiveness of Australian industry; to forge international collaborations and promote investments in space capabilities and capacities; and to accelerate smart growth of the Australian space economy and support improving the day-to-day lives of all Australians through innovative products and services;
  • Acknowledging that the Agency as an Australian Government agency is committed to open, transparent and significant industry engagement;

Goonhilly has many years of experience in commercial satellite communication services, and provides a number of simultaneous Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) services.  It has sought to develop a number of effective relationships with space exploration companies including an investment to establish a rich space ecosystem at the Goonhilly Enterprise Zone in the UK. This equips Goonhilly to help foster growth of the space sector in Australia and, in collaboration with the UK Government through the UK Space Agency, will ensure that this activity is coordinated and aligned with any extant agreements including the UK / Australia Space Agencies Memorandum of Understanding regarding Civil Space Cooperation for Peaceful Purposes.

Through this Joint Statement, Goonhilly and the Agency acknowledge the following current projects, areas of strategic interest and growth, potential new areas of collaboration and support which are of mutual interest:

  • Commitment to investment
    • SmartSat CRC – Goonhilly has made a commitment to the SmartSat CRC application with a pledge of AUD$350,000 and at least 1 FTE employee based in Australia if the application is successful
    • Deep space communication – Goonhilly has committed to significant additional investment in its approved and fully funded business plan to develop Australian-based deep space communication assets
    • Business and capability development
  • Business Development Office – Goonhilly has established a Business Development Office in Australia
    • Registered Australian company – Goonhilly will establish an Australian registered company, with the intent to employ local R&D, engineering and other personnel, to support all of the objectives outlined above
    • Capability Development Group – Goonhilly has developed a highly successful model linking its business growth objectives with key interactions between local and national government, academia and other industry players. We intend to bring this model to Australia
    • Goonhilly Enterprise Zone incentives – The Goonhilly “Enterprise Zone” acts as a science and innovation campus encouraging business development. This could provide a cost-effective base for Australian companies wishing to establish business growth opportunities in the UK
    • Antenna network - Goonhilly is developing a global network of antennas for tracking low and medium earth orbit satellites and launch vehicles. Goonhilly plans to achieve this via both acquisition of antennas and antenna locations and via partnering with existing facilities
  • Growing industry connections     
    • Opportunities for Goonhilly and the Agency could include exploring options to build relationships and establish industry connections both domestically and internationally

This Statement constitutes the expression of both parties’ intention to continue discussions. This statement does not create legal obligations between the parties and does not establish the obligation to enter into a certain agreement.

Joint Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation with Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd [347KB PDF]

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