Up to $10 million available to launch Australian SMEs into space

launch

Under round two of the Demonstrator Program as part of the Moon to Mars initiative, Australian small and medium businesses will be able to apply for mission grants between $750,000 and $10 million to help launch their technologies into space. 

A total $41 million grant pool will help more Australian space businesses develop the experience they need to compete on the international stage, according to minister for Science and Technology, Melissa Price. 

“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,” Price said. 

“The more Australian technology we can help launch into space, the more the global space community stands up and takes notice of our businesses and researchers.” 

Supporting Australian companies to develop their space experience is essential for them to break into new markets and supply chains, Price said. 

“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,” she said. 

“This is all part of the Morrison government’s plan to grow a globally respected space sector that benefits all Australians, both now and into the future.” 

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,” Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo said. 

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

Earlier this year, 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 be a recipient from round one, but will require a feasibility study to support their application. Companies will also need to contribute at least 25 per cent of the mission’s costs. 

Round two of the program is expected to open to applicants around the first quarter of 2022, with the recent release of the guidelines designed to support companies to prepare.  

For more information on the guidelines, visit business.gov.au.