On 19 November 2020, the Australia’s Northern Territory Government and the Darwin Innovation Hub signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cap Vista Pte Ltd and Singapore Space & Technology Ltd (SSTL) for a strategic partnership to collaborate on space activities through Project Cyclotron, Cap Vista and SSTL’s joint venture-building programme for space and deep tech companies.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the successful signing ceremony took place over a hybrid event; on-site in Australia, at the Darwin Innovation Hub and in Singapore, at the High Commission of Australia, and virtually over Zoom. The Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Bruce Gosper, hosted the signing event in Singapore, while the First Secretary at the Singapore High Commission in Canberra, Abigail Ho, was a witness to the signing event in Australia.
The MoU aims to establish a strategic collaboration between Australia’s Northern Territory and Project Cyclotron that could enable a two-way deal flow of space startups between Australia’s Northern Territory and Singapore. Opportunities for collaboration include test-bedding and market validation; launch of Singapore-built payloads and rockets from the Northern Territory’s Arnhem Space Centre; and co-investment in innovative space and tech companies that add value to the space supply chains in the respective locations. This MoU signing in the midst of the global pandemic signifies both countries’ firm commitment to move ahead with this international partnership in spite of these extraordinary circumstances.
Project Cyclotron focuses on building regional space and deep tech companies, by providing them with highly customised support for commercial success, including potential investment, business and technical insights, marketing platforms and resources and market access in Asia Pacific.
“As Space is a niche sector, SpaceTech companies require significant support to catalyse their growth across various industry and geographical sectors. We are delighted to be deepening our relationship with the Australian’s Northern Territory Government and Darwin Innovation Hub to work together to collectively benefit the SpaceTech ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region”, said Chng Zhen Hao, CEO Cap Vista.
“This collaboration with the Northern Territory Government and Darwin Innovation Hub is valuable for our startups, who would benefit from connections to the Australian space industry and physical sites to test their technologies. Project Cyclotron companies like Aliena, which is developing ultra low power electric propulsion systems, is currently partnering with the Darwin Innovation Hub. We also plan to collaborate on projects for other companies in the portfolio, like Bifrost, which generates labelled synthetic data for AI training for geospatial companies. To be able to push this MOU through in the current COVID-19 climate speaks of our strongest commitment to make the collaboration work” said Lynette Tan, Chief Executive of SSTL.
“Project Cyclotron recognises the aligned objectives of Singapore and the Northern Territory Government to grow and strengthen the space industry in our region. The Northern Territory has geographic advantages for space activities and we are perfectly positioned to benefit from the space economy and the jobs it will bring.” shared the Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA.
“Project Cyclotron will provide the Darwin Innovation Hub the high-level Government and institutional framework needed to deliver more projects and private sector capital to the Northern Territory space sector. It will provide capacity to build upon our established investments; a co-investment with Cap Vista in the space propulsion company, Aliena, and our venture capital investment in the Arnhem Space Centre. Both these projects are tremendously exciting and position the Darwin Innovation Hub as a valuable new player in the Asia Pacific space sector. We hope that Project Cyclotron will open doors for increased research and development and facilitate launch and testing opportunities for the Arnhem Space Centre,” said Harley Paroulakis, CEO of Darwin Innovation Hub.