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Australian companies now eligible to tender for contracts on ESO astronomy program

Manufacturing News

Australian companies will be able to bid for work on the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Technology Development Program, the federal government has said.

ESO is an international astronomy research program, hosted by Chile and with 16 member states. Australia signed on as a Strategic Partner in 2017 for a ten-year period.

The federal government announced on Thursday that a new amendment to that partnership agreement will allow Australian organisations to tender for contracts.

According to the statement, ESO’s Technology Development Program invests $1.5 million on competitive contracts annually, including for “new types of detectors, advanced optical coatings, and new laser sources.”

Science minister Melissa Price said that this would lead to “great commercial opportunities” for Australian companies, potentially extending “beyond the astronomy sector.”

“Australia’s capabilities in advanced manufacturing and research will be strengthened through ESO’s Technology Development Program,” said Price.

“This new facet of our Strategic Partnership with ESO will enable our highly-respected Australian institutions and businesses to contribute to global innovation and develop new technology.”

Picture: Miguel Claro/ESO

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