Australian science and industry organisations are being invited to bid for design and engineering work on the world's largest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP, announced today.
The Government will help Australian organisations seeking to compete for pre-construction work packages on the SKA by providing financial support through the $18.8 million SKA Pre-construction Grants Program.
"The SKA project is a unique opportunity for Australia to shine internationally and it is essential that we support local science and industry in this venture," Mr Bowen said.
"This Government investment will help the Australian science community to play a leading role in this global infrastructure project.
"Australia has world class science institutions and industry, so I am confident that our scientists and engineers are well placed to be involved in key elements of research and development for the SKA."
The international SKA Organisation has called for applications from around the world for the design phase of the SKA, which is worth around $114 million and is the forerunner to construction work beginning in 2016.
The Australian Government research and development funding, announced in December last year, would be offered on a co-investment basis to supplement resources contributed by Australian organisations, subject to the success of their bids for SKA work packages.
The international Request for Proposals is available on the international SKA website at www.skatelescope.org/publications/request-for-proposals/
Customer guidelines for the SKA Pre-construction Grants Program can be found at www.ska.gov.au
Media contacts: Mr Bowen's office 02 6277 7580