The Australian Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Space Agency to explore cooperative projects in areas including space policy, law and regulation, space weather, space education and health care.

L-R: President of the Italian Space Agency, Mr Giorgio Saccoccia; Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon. Karen Andrews MP; Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency, Anthony Murfett

Read the full statement

The Italian Space Agency, whose registered Office is located in Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Roma, represented by its President, Mr. Giorgio Saccoccia and the Government of Australia as represented by the Australian Space Agency, part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science created on 1 July 2018, whose address is 10 Binara Street, Canberra City, Canberra, represented by Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency; 

hereinafter referred to individually as “Participant” or collectively as “Participants”,

HAVING REGARD to the wishes of the Participants to cooperate on space activities for their mutual benefit;

HAVING REGARD to the provisions of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, entered into force on 10 October 1967, to which both Italy and Australia are Parties;

CONSIDERING the positive contribution that cooperation in space science, research, technology, services, applications and international governance will bring to promoting relationships and partnerships between the Participants, their respective industry organisations, as well as academic and research institutions;

RECOGNISING their common interest in the use and exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes;

CONVINCED of the advantages of international and bilateral cooperation in the field of space activities and related applications;

DESIRING to establish effective ways and means of bilateral cooperation in the field of space activities, that would promote social, economic and cultural development for the benefit of both countries;

CONSIDERING the Italian and Australian space programs, including the scientific, technological and applied space projects implemented by both countries;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the opportunity to promote and support the exchange of information and knowledge among universities, research institutions and industry;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT their mutual interest to start bilateral cooperation in the areas of mutual interest set out in Section 2 below;

WISHING to strengthen and develop a bilateral cooperation in the field of space for peaceful purposes,


1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (‘MoU’) is to:

  1. provide a framework for collaborative activities and for reviewing areas of common interest in the civil aspects of space;
  2. facilitate the exchange of information, technology and personnel in areas of mutual interest; and
  3. nominate relevant points of contact for both Participants.

2. Areas of Cooperation

2.1 Subject to the laws and regulations applicable to them, the Participants, through consultation, will decide upon the specific items and scope of cooperation within the framework of this MoU. The proposed collaborative activities are as follow:

  1. Participants will explore the possibility of implementing cooperative projects of common interest in the following areas:
  1. Space science
  2. Space technology
  3. Small satellites
  4. Earth observation and related applications
  5. Space communications technologies and services
  6. Remote asset management
  7. Position, Navigation and Timing
  8. Exchange of views on space policy, law and regulation
  9. Human capital development in the space field and related areas
  10. Space transportation systems
  11. Ground infrastructures and launching centres
  12. Tracking Telemetry & Control and Operation Control
  13. Space Situational Awareness including Space Debris and Near Earth Objects
  14. Space weather
  15. Space education
  16. Health care
  1. Participants will jointly identify suitable projects of common interest that can be supported and developed in both countries. Other areas of cooperation may be identified by mutual consent of the Participants.

3. Financial and legal provisions

3.1 Both Participants acknowledge that any activities undertaken through the MoU will:

  1. comply with all relevant export controls on a case-by-case basis; and
  2. respect intellectual property rights in accordance with all applicable laws.

3.2 The Participants also acknowledge that this MoU will place no financial, legal or other type of commitment on either Participant or their Governments.

4. Implementation

4.1 The Participants will establish a Joint Steering Committee under the framework of this MoU to monitor the effectiveness and applicability of the present MoU and examine proposals relating to plans for cooperation. This will be co-chaired by the Participants at a senior management level or their representatives. 

4.2 The Participants will arrange meetings by mutual consent to review progress on the implementation of this MoU.

4.3 In order to pursue activities in the Areas of Cooperation, the Participants will conclude specific Implementation Arrangements for each separate cooperative activity. Each Implementation Arrangement will set out details of the cooperation, including:

  1. the nature and scope of that specific cooperative activity;
  2. the entry into effect and duration of the arrangement;
  3. the points of contact, the roles and responsibilities of the Participants;
  4. any financial arrangements;
  5. the rules governing intellectual property;
  6. the detailed provisions for the exchange of data and goods;
  7. confidentiality provisions;
  8. waivers of liability as applicable; and
  9. any other provision that the Participants may deem necessary to carry out the cooperative activities.

4.4 The Joint Steering Committee referred to in 4.1 will also monitor the progress of activities being undertaken through Implementing Arrangements established under this MoU.

5. Amendment and Extension

5.1 This MoU may be amended by mutual consent of the Participants. The Participant wishing to make an amendment will notify the other in writing. Any amendment will take effect when each Participant has notified the other in writing of its consent to the amendment.

5.2 This MoU may extended at any time by mutual written consent of the Participants.

6. Status

6.1 Nothing in this MoU is intended to create any legally binding relationship between the Participants, nor is it intended to have any legal or binding effect on either Participant.

6.2 Nothing in this MoU prevents either Participant from cooperating with other States, Space Agencies or any other entity.

7. Duration and termination

7.1 This MoU will come into effect on the date of signature by both Participants and will continue in operation for five (5) years. Afterwards, this MoU will be automatically renewed for another period of five (5) years. Either Participant may terminate this MoU by giving six months’ written notice to the other Participant.


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