‘Space Bridge’ across the world will help UK and Australia get ahead in global space race

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The UK and Australia have signed a new ‘Space Bridge’ partnership to increase knowledge exchange and investment across the two countries’ space sectors. 

The world’s first Space Bridge will unlock improved access to trade, investment and academic research opportunities, better advice to businesses and innovative bilateral collaborations. The UK and Australia share future ambitions for space and have similar plans to increase the size and job creation potential of the sector. This agreement will further develop the longstanding relationship between the two countries which dates back to the 1970s when the Prospero satellite built in Farnborough, UK, launched from Woomera, South Australia.

The arrangement enhances cooperation between the UK Space Agency, UK Department for International Trade, Australian Trade & Investment Commission, and the Australian Space Agency, coordinating opportunities for the UK and Australian governments and companies to work on space-related activities, including sharing Earth Observation data to collaborating on robotic and artificial intelligence.

UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: 

The signing of today’s Space Bridge partnership, a world’s first, with one of our closet international allies, is another step forward in our ambition for the UK to become a globally-competitive space power.

The bond will allow our most innovative space businesses and universities to collaborate and share best practice more effectively than ever. I’m excited to see how this partnership will unlock new space jobs in both countries while driving forward new ideas that could enrich all of our lives.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP said:

Space exports hit £5.5 billion in 2017 and it is this international demand for our space goods and services which is driving the development of the UK’s vibrant and innovative space industry.

Like the UK, Australia recognises the enormous potential of space science and recognises that closer partnership and alignment between our two sectors can boost progress and jobs in both countries. I believe that UK exports to Australia could grow by £900 million as a result of a Free-Trade Agreement and the Space Bridge programme can play a critical role in space contributing to this growth, and further strengthening our UK-Australia relationship.

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