India, Australia team up to boost space startup ecosystems
New Delhi : The Satcom Industry Association-India (SIA-India) and the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) have formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen collaboration and drive mutual growth in the space industry. This significant agreement was inked during the prestigious DefSat Conference & Expo, graced by distinguished figures such as Gen Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, Chief of Defence Staff, and His Excellency, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr. Philip Green.
The MoU signing holds special significance against the backdrop of DefSAT 2024, where India, a key player in defence and space, is poised to chart a roadmap for a modern and future-ready sector. Scheduled from 7th to 9th February 2024 at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, DefSAT 2024 is set to convene nearly 500 visionaries, thought leaders, and stakeholders, creating a unique convergence of expertise from diverse sectors.
With a joint commitment to fostering a resilient, inclusive, and open region, both India and Australia recognise the significance of collaborative efforts in addressing challenges such as space debris management, satellite technology advancements, and Space and Defence integration. The synergy in their efforts towards sustainable practices in space exploration is a testament to their shared vision.
The timing of this MoU aligns with the Indo-Pacific and QUAD partnerships between India and Australia, signifying the potential for cooperation to advance shared interests. The signing ceremony, attended by luminaries including Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri, President SIA-India, Lt Gen PJS Pannu, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Chairman Space Defence Committee, SIA-India, Padma Shree Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director NIAS, Former Secretary Ministry of Earth Science, AVM Sanjay Bhatnagar VM VSM (Retd), Offcg Director, CENJOWS, and Anil Prakash, Director-General, SIA-India, marks a significant stride toward fostering global partnerships in the ever-evolving landscape of technology, security, and geopolitics.
Strengthened collaboration between India’s and Australia’s respective space sectors is aligned with the shared regional interests of India and Australia and enhances collective influence in shaping global decisions. As both nations play a pivotal role in the Indo-Pacific region, collaboration in the space sector has the potential to bridge gaps and contribute significantly to the advancement of shared goals.
Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri, President of SIA-India, emphasized, "This collaboration establishes a platform for the exchange of expertise and the formulation of best practices in critical areas of space and defence. It enables the creation of business-to-business partnerships, facilitates capacity building, promotes skill development, and drives research and development initiatives. Our partnership with SIAA aims to foster innovation, facilitate knowledge exchange, and unlock business opportunities, thereby contributing to the overall growth of the global space sector."
Executive Chairman of SIAA, Jeremy Hallett, added, "The Australia-India relationship is an important one. Numerous initiatives and investments have been established since the government relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership but more needs to be done for space. Our respective space sectors are aligned in efforts to create space technology and services which have a meaningful impact for lives here on earth. Across both space sectors there is a keen interest from private capital to back an emerging sector. Emerging companies are harnessing a talent pool of young, educated, hard-working and enthusiastic workers building technology at an incredible rate and scale. This MoU is a recognition of this progress and underscores a shared commitment to advancing the space industry, leveraging synergies, addressing challenges, and enhancing competitiveness.”
"Recent developments between India and Australia in the space sector, including collaborative satellite projects, data sharing for weather monitoring, and joint research initiatives, showcase a promising era of partnership. Initiatives like Australia’s ISI fund, aimed at space sector partnerships, aligns with our shared vision.
The MoU with SIA-India opens new avenues for collaboration, facilitating capacity building. Together, we can leverage our strengths to address challenges and seize emerging opportunities in satellite communications and beyond," said Anil Prakash, Director General, SIA-India.
As non-profit organizations representing the space industries of India and Australia, SIA-India and SIAA are committed to advancing the interests of their respective members and contributing to the sustainable development of the global space sector. The MoU outlines a commitment to collaborative initiatives that promote the growth, development, and sustainability of the satellite communications and space industry.
In line with this commitment to fostering international collaborations and advancing the global space sector, both SIA-India and SIAA are actively participating in key space events.
India Space Congress ISC-24, 26-28 June 2024: SIAA is set to participate in the India Space Congress organized by SIA-India during June, where industry leaders, policymakers, and experts will converge to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and collaborative opportunities in the space domain.
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Sydney, September 29 - October 3, 2025: Looking ahead, SIA-India is gearing up for participation in IAC Sydney 2025, where Indian and Australian delegations will unite in pioneering space collaboration. This global event will serve as a platform for exchanging insights, fostering partnerships, and showcasing advancements in space technology and delivering on the theme of ‘Sustainable Space: Resilient Earth’.