Australia and the United Kingdom will strengthen their industry ties through the formation of a Space Bridge, which will lay the foundations for future space-related trade opportunities.
The Space Bridge will be a joint effort between the Australian Space Agency, UK Space Agency, Austrade, and the UK Department for International Trade. It was announced on Tuesday 24 September at the UK Space Conference in Wales.
Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark AC said she looked forward to the increased opportunities that the Space Bridge would provide.
“This latest agreement builds on a number of recent international agreements that are positioning Australia to play an increasingly important role in the global space industry,” Dr Clark said.
“The Space Bridge will open up new opportunities for Australian space businesses to access the global space sector through future trade agreements. This is an important step in the Agency’s goal to transform and grow the Australian space industry.”
Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency Dr Graham Turnock said: “The UK’s space heritage has strong links to Australia, with the first British rockets lifting off from Woomera in the 1950s, and we are committed to strengthening our friendship and partnership.
“A Space Bridge agreement will bring significant benefits to both of our thriving space industries, facilitating new trade and investment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
“It was a pleasure to welcome the Australian Space Agency to the UK Space Conference 2019 and to set out our intent to increase collaboration.”
The CEO of Austrade Dr Stephanie Fahey said that the Space Bridge was an important development in Australia’s fast-growing space industry.
“Australia’s space sector is on the rise, powered by a rapidly growing and innovative base of start-ups and SMEs that are shaped by broader international trends,” Dr Fahey said.
“Austrade is also working with the Australian Space Agency to promote Australian space capability, and to identify and formulate possible solutions to key challenges ahead.
“A vibrant, export-focused space sector will enable us to reap the benefits that is able to underpin the competitiveness of our entire future economy.”
Completion of a Space Bridge Framework Agreement between the UK and Australia is anticipated by mid-2020. The Framework Agreement intends to provide scope for a Space Bridge Program of Work to support the aims, objectives and ambitions of both nations.