Australia to create $42 million partnership with India in space, science & technology to grow local industries

India’s space program is one of the fastest growing in the world and is expected to grow by US$43 billion to 2025.

The Australian government is investing more than $42 million in a series of space, science and technology initiatives with India.

The aim is to generate opportunities for local Australian businesses and researchers to grow and create more jobs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the new commitments under our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India during the Virtual Annual Leaders’ Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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PM Morrison and PM Modi at India-Australia virtual summit; Image Source: The Australia Today

The initiatives include more than $25 million for Australian businesses and researchers to tap into India’s burgeoning space industry.

Further $9.5 million for an Australia-India Innovation and Technology Challenge and $7.8 million to secure the ongoing Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

Image source: Melissa Price MP

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said Australia had much to gain from working alongside India in innovative new areas of space and science & technology.

“Teaming up with our friends in India creates remarkable opportunities for our Aussie businesses and researchers, which will in-turn benefit all Australians. India is already a key economic partner for Australia and these investments will lock in relationships that are going to improve the everyday lives of residents in both our nations, while also creating economic opportunities for us here at home. 

India is also an important regional partner and this funding will allow our nations to keep working together to promote rules and norms, including through initiatives like the Quad.”

The expansion of Australia’s International Space Investment (ISI) initiative builds on existing cooperation between the two nations in space.

It also includes Australia’s support of India’s inspirational Gaganyaan human space flight mission.

Australian organisations will work on projects with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the industries active in Indian space sector. 

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Image source: ISRO.

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

  • The Australia-India Innovation and Technology Challenge will be led by CSIRO and will see 20 innovations backed with funding to scale-up to market in the areas of waste reduction, water security and food system resilience.
  • The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral science cooperation, will also receive additional ongoing investments of $3.8 million per annum from 2026.

It is Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral science cooperation that helps build links between Australia and India’s top universities, research institutions and the end users of scientific innovation.  

It will give the research sectors in Australia and India extra certainty to continue their crucial work and leading-edge research.

Minister Price further added that Australia stood to benefit greatly from working with India in space, and science & technology more broadly.

“Likewise, we want our researchers and innovators to be able to fast-track their work into real world outcomes – and working with India presents a fantastic opportunity to do just that.”   

India’s space program is one of the fastest growing in the world and is expected to grow by US$43 billion to 2025.