What is International Space Investment Expand Capability Grants?

The International Space Investment Expand Capability Grants provides Australian companies and research organisations with funding to unlock international opportunities for the Australian space sector.

 

Background

The International Space Investment Initiative (the program) was announced as part of the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan – growing the Australian space industry initiative in 2018. The program will run over three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22, providing Australian businesses with opportunities to become involved with international space agencies or established international space programs. Projects will generate employment and business opportunities for Australians, with a minimum of 80% of the investment to be made in Australia, for the benefit of Australian space industry firms.

The International Space Investment Initiative is delivered through two streams:

  • International Space Investment – Open Doors, targeting international space agency projects which will unlock opportunities for the Australian space sector
  • International Space Investment – Expand Capability, providing grants to build the capacity and capability of the Australian space sector and support jobs creation, and demonstrate the sector’s ability to successfully deliver space-related products and services internationally.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the program are to:

  • unlock international space opportunities for the Australian space sector
  • expand the capability and capacity of the Australian space sector, and support job creation
  • demonstrate the Australian space sector’s ability to successfully deliver space-related products and services internationally
  • support projects which contribute to building a vision and an Australian space sector that inspires businesses, the Australian community and the next generation of space workforce, researchers and entrepreneurs.

The intended outcomes of the program are:

  • an increase in Australia’s reputation in the global space sector
  • an increase in the number and size of Australian businesses qualifying for access to opportunities with international space agencies
  • an increase in the number of Australian businesses winning contracts and successfully delivering products and services to international space agency programs directly, or indirectly through supply chains
  • an increase in investment and engagement from international space agencies, and their supply chains, in Australia
  • an increase in the number of jobs in the Australian space sector.

 

Funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $15 million over three years for the International Space Investment Initiative. An estimated $11 million will be available for this grant opportunity.

The grant amount will be up to 100 percent of eligible project costs (the grant percentage).

  • The minimum grant amount is $100,000
  • The maximum grant amount is $4,000,000.

The remaining proportion of eligible project costs we consider your contribution. You can fund your contribution from any source, including State, Territory and local government grants. Your contribution must be cash.

 

Eligible Projects

You can apply for a grant for your project under more than one Commonwealth program, but if your application is successful, you must choose either the International Space Investment grant or the other Commonwealth grant.

Your project may require relevant approvals by the Australian Space Agency under the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 (e.g. an overseas payload permit to launch a space object overseas). Assessment under this Act will be conducted independently of your grant application.

Eligible activities may include:

  • research and development
  • product and service development
  • commercialising existing products and services
  • process design and engineering
  • buying, constructing, installing or commissioning of equipment or software
  • relevant training and skills development
  • collaboration and partnership development.

Other activities may also be approved.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible expenditure you have incurred on an agreed project as defined in your grant agreement.

  • For guidance on eligible expenditure, see appendix A of the guidelines
  • For guidance on ineligible expenditure, see appendix B of the guidelines

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

and be one of the following entities:

  • a company, incorporated in Australia
  • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) as defined in section 14 of the guidelines

Joint applications are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.

The program can only accept applications:

  • where you can provide evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • where you have at least $100,000 in eligible expenditure
  • where you can certify that your project has links to international space agencies or their supply chains
  • where you can certify that a minimum of 80% of the investment will be made in Australia, for the benefit of Australian space industry firms.

 

Timing

Applications close 17 December 2019.

 

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