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Australia-India Collaborative Space Tech Initiative

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Australia and India are collaborating on innovative space projects, bolstered by a newly launched grant programme aimed at strengthening space industry partnerships between the two nations. The Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs announced a total of AU$18 million under the International Space Investment India Projects programme, which supports three space technology companies. This announcement took place at an event hosted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Tech Lab.

Image Credits: University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Tech Lab, Press Release

The UTS Tech Lab, a multidisciplinary research facility, supports industry-led partnerships to drive innovation in engineering and IT. One of its industry partners, Space Machines, received funding under the new programme.

The Assistant Minister emphasised the rapid development of the commercial space sectors in both Australia and India, supported by complementary skill sets and investments. He noted that both countries share a vision of a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific, making them ideal partners in space-related endeavours. The Minister highlighted that the grants and funded activities reflect and extend the depth of the Australia-India relationship and their commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and addressing future challenges.

The UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise expressed pride in supporting the launch of the federally funded grant programme aimed at fostering collaboration between Australia and India in space exploration. He noted that UTS is working closely with Space Machines Company to solve research problems and provide work-integrated learning experiences for students and graduate opportunities. Currently, more than 20% of Space Machines Company employees are UTS graduates. He stated that the company is on the verge of achieving a significant step change in the Australian space industry and that the announcement marks an important milestone in Australia-India space engagement.

India’s High Commissioner to Australia attended the event which was led by the Australian India Institute in collaboration with the Australian Space Agency.

Space Machines Company was awarded more than AU$8.5 million for the Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research, and Innovation) project. This project aims to demonstrate advanced concepts such as on-orbit transportation and space debris mitigation. Space MAITRI will feature an Australian-built Orbital Servicing Vehicle, which will be launched into space on a dedicated Indian launcher.

Space Machines tested and qualified their existing spacecraft using specialised equipment at Tech Lab, including the multi-axial simulation table (MAST), to ensure it could withstand extreme forces and vibrations during launch. The project includes several Australian and Indian partners, fostering valuable commercial links with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the growing Indian space sector.

In 2022, the global aerospace and defence market was valued at approximately USD 750 billion. Projections indicate that the market will grow to around USD 1388 billion by 2030, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 8.2% from 2023 to 2030.

Research analysts project the global aerospace and defence market to grow annually at a CAGR of approximately 8.2% over the forecast period (2023-2030). The market size, valued at around US$750 billion in 2022, is expected to reach about US$1388 billion by 2030. Increased investment in the sector is anticipated to drive revenue growth.

The defence segment is expected to hold a significant market share throughout the forecast period. Additionally, the autonomous segment is predicted to grow at the fastest rate based on operations, while the weapon system segment is likely to capture a substantial market share based on components. North America is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period.


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