New frontier for space supply chains

The first program in the Government’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative is open. Local businesses now have the opportunity to apply for grants that will strengthen skills, capabilities and capacity. The Supply Chain capability improvement grants aim to help businesses to double down on their capabilities. It will also support their application across other high growth industries such as mining, cyber security and agriculture.

The Supply Chain program consists of two sub-programs:
– Supply chain capability improvement grants, which opened on 27 August 2020
– Supply chain engagement and facilitation, which will support larger local space companies and international space industry partners to open up space supply chains to Australian businesses and research organisations to support NASA’s Moon to Mars activities. This is currently expected to commence in mid-2021.

The first part of the Supply Chain program, the Supply Chain capability improvement grants opens today. Total funding of $25.7 million is available between 2020-25, with a minimum grant of $250,000 and maximum grant of $1 million.

The Agency advised that:

“A clear commercialisation pathway is key to the Supply Chain capability improvement grants. We want to see products come to life and contribute to Australia’s export market capacity, while also creating jobs and increasing skills at a local level. We will measure success based on increased skills, experience and employment in the Australian space industry, as part of our broader goal to triple the size of the sector to $12 billion and create around 20,000 extra jobs by 2030. Australia’s space sector is an enabler of other industries, including manufacturing and agriculture, many of which are competitive advantages that will strengthen sovereign capability in a post-COVID economy.”

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