This submission was prepared jointly by the Science Party and Taha Khan, who shares our vision for an effective, competitive space sector.
In June 2019, the Australian Space Agency called for submissions in response to its draft program design for the International Space Investment (ISI) initiative, a program under the Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019–28 to allocate $15 million in funding over a three year period. Applications are scheduled to open in September 2019.
The consultation sought views on the appropriateness of the initiative's program design and nominated priority counterpart agencies.
Our submission makes specific recommendations that would add transparency and certainty to the funding and application process, the assessment committee's composition, and the government's expected terms with successful applicants. A copy will appear here in full once the Space Agency has considered and published the submissions.
Our recommendations were as follows:
- Partnership priorities with agencies in the Indo-Pacific region should be given express attention, in addition to the already listed counterpart agencies, given their geographic proximity to Australia, existing security ties, likely shared use-cases for space projects and applications, and proven space capabilities
- Funding should be made available quarterly or semiannually, rather than annually so as not to prejudice time sensitive projects and to maintain industry momentum
- The application process should be supported by readily available materials with guidance on the expected standard and content of applications
- The government's expected funding terms and pro forma funding agreement should be made available as part of the application pack to allow certainty and standardisation for the local industry
The allocation of $15 million to international space investment is a positive step in facilitating local industry participation on the global stage. We look forward to seeing the local industry grow.