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Australian Space Research Program - new funding round

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17 Feb 2011

Motorists no longer need struggle with a bulky road map to find their way and people in remote Australia can communicate without a phone or internet signal thanks to satellite technology - all developed through breakthroughs in space research.

The Gillard Labor Government knows that more scientific discoveries are just over the horizon and Australian researchers can lead the way.

That is why the government established the Australian Space Research Program to develop Australia’s niche space capabilities and create job opportunities in industries of the future.

Opening the program to applications, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said Australia’s performance in space sciences and the related areas of engineering are strong. The recent Excellence in Research for Australia outcomes showed 85 per cent or more of the units assessed in these areas are world standard or above.

“Australia is a serious contributor to space-related innovation and the Australian Space Research Program is allowing us to strengthen our capabilities and showcase them to the world,” Senator Carr said.

“By partnering with countries around the world, we will develop more skills and set ourselves up for great science discoveries. Eight of the 11 projects funded so far under the program have international partnerships, including organisations in Germany, Japan Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and France. I hope to see even more collaborations with the next round of funding.”

Funding is available in two streams: education grants of between $200,000 and $1 million for university-led consortiums designed to encourage student participation in space-related study; and innovation grants of between $1 million and $5 million for consortia of Australian industry and researchers.

Potential applicants can register to attend information sessions in Sydney or Brisbane. For details on these sessions and information on how to apply, visit Applications are open now and will close 3pm ADST, Thursday, 31 March 2011.

The program is part of the Australian Government’s $1.1 billion Super Science Initiative, which supports projects that build Australia’s research strength. The program has already backed projects worth more than $34 million, resulting in the creation of 16 new PhDs, the full-time employment of 40 people and a significant body of research.

For more information about the Australian Government’s support for science and research, visit