The SKA Project


Project at a glance


WA Australia
Project Execution
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Contact Details


Australian SKA Project
Industry Liaison Officer

The Commonwealth of Australia as represented by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) coordinates the Commonwealth’s national and international involvement in the SKA project. The SKA Observatory is a separate legal entity to, and is not controlled by, the Commonwealth.

The SKA Observatory is responsible for managing the procurement process. Procurement processes undertaken by the SKA Observatory are not procurements undertaken by or on behalf of DISER, and DISER is not responsible for the SKA Observatory’s actions.


The SKA Project


The SKA Project is a global mega-science project to build the world’s largest and most capable radio telescope. During its more than 50 year lifetime, the SKA Project will expand our understanding of the universe and drive technological developments.

The SKA Project will be developed as a two-telescope observatory comprising SKA-Low in Australia and SKA-Mid in South Africa.

SKA-Low will be located in Western Australia on the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, which is 770 km north, northeast of Perth and about 360 km north east of Geraldton in the Murchison Shire. The SKA-Low telescope will be made up of 131,072 antenna, spread across 512 field stations with up to 65km between stations.


The SKA Observatory


The SKA Observatory (SKAO) is the Intergovernmental Organisation headquartered in the UK that leads the SKA Project. The SKAO will undertake construction, operation, and maintenance of the SKA telescopes. Current SKAO members are Australia, South Africa, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal.


Procurement


For low value procurements, the SKAO will request and evaluate quotes from the market. For large and/or complex opportunities, potential suppliers will be required to engage with up to three stages in the procurement process:

  • Market Survey – Suppliers will be asked to express an interest in pre-qualifying for an opportunity. Typically, only businesses that respond to a market survey will be invited to pre-qualify and tender.
  • Prequalification Questionnaire - Suppliers that respond to a market survey will be sent a prequalification questionnaire, which will assess capability and capacity, relevant past experience and performance, willingness to include local content and ensure indigenous participation.
  • Invitation to Tender - Businesses that successfully pre-qualify will receive an Invitation to Tender.

All market surveys and requests for quote, open to Australian suppliers, will be listed below as they are released to market.

Construction at the Australian site is expected to commence in late 2021/early 2022 and conclude in 2028. Operations will commence from 2029. CSIRO and Aurecon will provide on-site management of SKA-Low telescope infrastructure work through a Management Professional Services Contract (PSC) with the SKAO.


Partial Scope Opportunities


Efforts will be made to connect companies interested in partial scope supply with prime contractors, but there are no guarantees relating to this. Companies are encouraged to nominate interest in partial scope elements via this ICN listing. Facilitated introductions will be made to upper tier companies bidding on the particular major work package you have expressed interest in.


Industry Support


Potential support for Australian SMEs is available through the ‘Supplying the Square Kilometre Array’ SMART Project, which will be delivered through the SMART Projects and Supply Chains service of The Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme. Support services will assist small to medium sized companies evaluate and pursue potential opportunities during SKA telescope construction; position for future opportunities in the operations and maintenance phase of the observatory; and build capability relative to other major projects.

If you are interested in participating in the Supplying the Square Kilometre Array SMART Project, and would like to check your eligibility for this service, please contact the Australian SKA Project Industry Liaison Officer.

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