US visit to boost space connections

Growing opportunities for Australian businesses in the space industry, as well as our emerging technologies and industries, will be the focus of a week-long ministerial visit to the United States.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews departs today for meetings with US Government and industry representatives in Washington DC, New York, Orlando and San Francisco, to explore opportunities to grow Australian businesses, particularly in the space sector.

"The world is on the cusp of a space boom and Australia’s space businesses and advanced manufacturers are ready to seize the opportunities for growth," Minister Andrews said.

"My visit follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that our government will invest $150 million in Australian businesses, so they can join the supply chains created by NASA’s plan to revisit the Moon and travel on to Mars.

"I know Australian businesses have the expertise and technology needed to compete in a global space economy. I’m travelling to the United States to ensure our space, manufacturing and digital technology businesses are on the front foot when NASA is looking for reliable suppliers and mission partners.

"The aim of the visit is to strengthen existing partnerships and create new agreements that will benefit our space sector, as well as boost our digital and manufacturing industries.

"When the Morrison Government established the Australian Space Agency last year, it was our clear signal that we see the potential for economic growth in the space industry. All up the Coalition has invested over $600 million in the space industry as part of our plan to grow the sector and create 1.25 million jobs over the next five years."

The visit will include an opportunity to attend the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, the world’s largest space event which brings together agencies from across the world.

Minister Andrews’ schedule includes meetings with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr Kelvin Droegemeier, US Chief Technology Officer Mike Kratsios and National Science Foundation Director Dr France A. Cordova.

The Minister will also meet with executives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Virgin Galactic, and Microsoft.

In addition to seeking opportunities for Australia in the space industry, Minister Andrews will discuss the economic potential of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and blockchain and will also look at opportunities to grow Australia’s waste recycling industry.

Minister Andrews will address the US-Australia Space Cooperation Forum and the American Australian Association Business Council to discuss the potential to deepen economic ties in the space economy and other industry sectors.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' Office 02 6277 7070