Government announces $42m space, science & technology partnership with India


The Federal Government has announced a $42 million investment in a series of space, science and technology initiatives with India to generate opportunities for local businesses and researchers to grow and create jobs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the commitments under Australia’s Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India during the Virtual Annual Leaders’ Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week.

According to the Government’s statement, over $25 million will be available for Australian businesses and researchers to tap into India’s burgeoning space industry, $9.5 million will be available for an Australia-India Innovation and Technology Challenge, and $7.8 million will be available to secure the ongoing Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

“The expansion of the International Space Investment (ISI) initiative builds on existing cooperation between our two nations in space – including Australia’s support of India’s inspirational Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission,” reads the statement.

“The ISI expansion will provide funding for Australian businesses and research organisations to work on projects with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the broader Indian space sector.

“This will unlock opportunities for Australia’s local space sector on the international stage.”

The partnerships will run over five years and include:

The India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge

It will help small firms and entrepreneurs establish new technology solutions to address environmental and economic concerns such as waste reduction, water security, and food system resilience.

This alliance, modeled after the CSIRO’s innovation initiative, will help grow roughly 20 cutting-edge Australian and Indian ideas each year. It will also assist students in developing the skills necessary to quickly bring their technologies and ideas to market.

The India-Australia Critical Minerals Research Partnership

The India-Australia Critical Minerals Research Partnership will strengthen supply chains, add value to Australian exports, and collaborate with India on critical minerals technology commercialization.

It will help to create more diverse, robust, and responsible supply chains, as well as new employment and industries in Australia and India.

On the subject of resourcing the renewable energy transition, it will bring together Indian scientific, business, and government partners with CSIRO’s emerging Critical Energy Metals Mission.

By demonstrating the commercial viability of CSIRO-owned critical mineral processing Intellectual Property in the Indian and Australian settings, this alliance will help to unleash the commercial benefits of connecting Indian and Australian critical minerals value chains.

The India-Australia Green Steel Partnership

This initiative will support breakthrough technologies and export diversification paths to deliver future jobs to the resources industry in the transition to a low-emission economy.

Bringing together Indian partners with CSIRO’s Towards Net Zero Mission, it will take advantage of CSIRO’s contacts with Australian industry, as well as the Indian government and industry, to help commercialize new Australian and Indian technology to improve steel production efficiency and environmental outcomes.

It will assist India in meeting its expanding steel needs, as well as in the shared goal of reducing emissions and diversifying Australian exports.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall said: “Global challenges require global solutions. Both Australia and India have strong advanced technology, science and innovation sectors. This partnership is an immense opportunity to combine our diverse perspectives to build an innovation-led future, and work together to deliver a strong post COVID-19 recovery.”

“CSIRO has already had tremendous success in facilitating and collaborating with industry to fast-track cutting-edge research and technology into real world outcomes, and we want to replicate this success with India.”

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