On 3 December 2019, the Australian Space Agency and Thales Australia signed a statement of intent, to mutually identify key areas of investment as well as potential research, development and commercial opportunities.
Read the full statement below.
Joint Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation between Australian Space Agency and Thales Australia
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 Mr Anthony Murfett, Deputy Head, Australian Space Agency, and Thales Australia Pty Ltd, represented by Mr Gary Dawson, Vice President Strategy; and Thales Alenia Space France, represented by Mr Benoît Broudy, Vice President Navigation Domain; Thales Alenia Space and Thales Australia, hereinafter collectively referred to as "Thales”;
- Recalling that the Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 is a framework for the development and growth of the Australian space industry over ten years, underpinned by four strategic pillars: International; National; Responsible; and Inspire. Under these pillars the strategy endeavours to help realise opportunities and address challenges by opening doors internationally; increasing national space capability; promoting responsible regulation, risk and space culture; and building the future workforce. The Strategy sets a path for the Agency to triple the size of Australia’s space sector to $12 billion and create another 20,000 jobs by 2030;
- Recalling that the Agency's purpose is to transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry that lifts the broader economy, inspires and improves the lives of Australians – underpinned by strong international and national engagement;
- Recalling that the Agency has seven National Civil Space Priority Areas including communications technologies and services; position, navigation and timing infrastructure; space situational awareness and debris monitoring; leapfrog research and development; Earth observation services; robotics and automation on Earth and in space; and access to space;
- Recalling that the Agency’s responsibilities include: whole-of-government coordination of Australia's civil space sector matters, providing primary civil space policy and strategic advice to the Australian Government, supporting the growth of our national space industry and the use of space across the broader economy, leading international civil space engagement, administering space activities legislation and completing our international obligations, and inspiring both the Australian community and the next generation of space entrepreneurs;
- Recalling that Thales is part of a global organisation with operations on all continents serving five major markets, all of them of vital importance for our societies: space, aerospace, ground transportation, defence and security;
- Recalling that Thales’ strategic purpose in the space sector is to design, deliver and operate satellite-based systems that help its customers to position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, and help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will build a better, more sustainable life on Earth;
- Acknowledging that the Agency and Thales share the objective of enhancing the capability and international competitiveness of Australian industry and research & development as well as promoting investments in space capabilities and capacities, that will support smart growth and highly qualified jobs as well as improving the day-to-day lives of all Australians through innovative products and services;
- Acknowledging that the Agency is an Australian government agency that is committed to open, transparent and significant industry engagement;
- Acknowledging that Thales has a proven history of delivering complex systems in Australia and around the world in the Air, Land, Sea and Space domains. Thales will leverage its global experience in designing, delivering and operating space related systems in the areas of telecommunications; earth observation; positioning, navigation & timing; science & space exploration; and space infrastructure & transport to support the objectives of the Australian Civil Space Strategy;
Through this Statement, Thales acknowledges the following current areas of strategic interest and growth, potential new areas of collaboration and support for education and training which are of interest to the nation.
- Thales is the current supplier of Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) systems to France, Korea and Africa. Opportunities for Thales could include exploring the application of global SBAS services across the broader economy, and developing Australian technology and capability as the Government continues its ongoing open investment in SBAS
- Thales will look to develop technology and capability to support local ground stations and terminals in support of the telecommunications; Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Earth observation.
- In conjunction with the University of Western Australia and the University of South Australia, Thales will develop enhanced secure and robust space-based communications technologies and capabilities for civilian and military purposes. Thales will explore the industrialisation of these capabilities with Australian companies and include these capabilities in the Thales global supply chain.
- Build on Thales’s growing investment in research and development with the Smart Satellite Cooperative Research Centre (SmartSat CRC), and other local academic universities, with the intent to commercialise capabilities and include these capabilities in the Thales global supply chain.
- Thales understands the importance of growing the capabilities and capacity of the Australian workforce to meet the future needs of the growing space economy. Thales continues to contribute to STEM and community awareness programs focused on aerospace and space, like the Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) and Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) programs with CSIRO, International Group on Earth Observation Week and the International Group on Global Satellite Positioning Services. Thales will look to explore opportunities to maintain and grow the support for education and community awareness programs including opportunities for internships and staff exchange programs to support the growth of Australia’s national space capabilities.
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.