$41m in grants available for space research

By on 30 November, 2021

Image courtesy SpaceX

Australian small- and medium-sized businesses will be able to apply for federally funded ‘mission grants’ of between $750,000 and $10 million to help launch their technologies into space.

The grants will be available under round two of the Demonstrator Program under the Moon to Mars initiative, which will have a total grant pool of $41 million.

“These investments will position Australian space companies to be able to play a part in future space missions, including NASA’s efforts to go to the Moon and beyond,” said Minister for Science and Technology, Melissa Price.

“Supporting Australian companies to develop their space experience is essential for them to break into new markets and supply chains — which in turn will draw more investment into our country to grow our economy and create more jobs.

“Excitingly, the jobs that come from our growing space sector spread across a range of industries and skill sets — from resources, to agriculture, to manufacturing,” the Minister added.

Australian Space Agency head, Enrico Palermo, said Access to Space is one of seven priority areas under the Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028

“We know the world wants to do business with Australian space companies but one of the challenges we face is the relative lack of space heritage that many of their innovative technologies have,” Mr Palermo said.

“We don’t want to see great Australian ideas or technology remain grounded because of a lack of support.”

Round one of the Demonstrator Program saw 20 projects receive up to $200,000 each for their feasibility studies.

To apply for a mission grant in round two, companies do not have to have been a recipient from round one, but will require a feasibility study to support their application. They will also need to contribute at least 25% of the mission’s costs.

Round two is expected to open to applicants around the first quarter of 2022. Today’s release of the guidelines is designed to help companies to prepare.

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