On 23 February 2021, Australia and United Kingdom signed the Space Bridge Framework Arrangement.
The Arrangement enhances cooperation between Austrade, the Australian Space Agency, UK Department for International Trade and the UK Space Agency. It aims to increase connection, exchange and investment across both space sectors.
The Space Bridge Framework Arrangement
In the interests of strengthening the relationship between the UK and Australia through space engagement to create a more integrated market spanning the two countries, the Participants establish a UK-Australia Space Bridge (Space Bridge) through the signing of this Space Bridge Framework Arrangement (Arrangement).
The Space Bridge will:
- establish new cooperation mechanisms
- increase trade and investment between both countries
- recognise the breadth of the relationship, and account for existing arrangements such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in on July 2 October 2018 between the UK Space Agency and Australian Space Agency (the ‘UKSA-ASA MoU’)
This Space Bridge establishes a framework for individual arrangements between relevant government and private sector actors from the UK and Australia to support further cooperation on space activities. These are described in this Space Bridge as ‘Pillars’.
The Space Bridge will be supported by dedicated work programmes with funding to be determined by individual Participants.
This Space Bridge will:
- Enable closer and stronger policy alignment on space between the governments, including through enhanced information sharing and exchange of views (in accordance with this Arrangement) on emerging trends and issues, and the adoption of a whole of government approach to space science and research, trade, and security;
- Facilitate greater regulatory policy dialogue, and the exploration of further industry regulatory compatibility, as well as the sharing of best practice;
- Unlock more trade opportunities through the encouragement of space firms to use the facilities and assistance available in each jurisdiction and working towards the reduction of barriers to entry; and
- Increase opportunities for deeper research and development collaboration and educational/outreach activities through scientific and academic programmes.
This Space Bridge sets out the framework for ongoing cooperation between the UK and Australia on space issues, covering four interrelated Pillars:
- Trade, Investment, & Business
- Research & Education.