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Sydney has been selected by the General Assembly vote of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in Paris overnight, as the host city for the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in 2025.

The annual IAC is the one place where all global space actors come together. Exploring all space sectors and topics, the Congress covers the latest space information and developments in academia and industry, networking opportunities, contacts and potential partnerships. Founded in 1951, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading space advocacy body with around 460 members in 72 countries, including all leading space agencies, companies, research institutions, universities, societies, associations, institutes and museums worldwide. The Federation advances knowledge about space, supporting the development and application of space assets by promoting global cooperation.

The last time the Congress was held in Australia was in Adelaide in 2017, and it is credited as the key driver for the formation of the Australian Space Agency in that city.

The successful Australian bid was a collaboration between the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), the Australian Space Agency (ASA), the New South Wales Government (Investment NSW) and business events bidding specialists BESydney.

Paul Webster, Trade and Investment Commissioner, UK and Europe, Investment NSW, James Brown Industry Association of Australia, Enrico Palermo, Head, Australian Space Agency, Jessica Saladine, Senior Associate, Investment NSW, David Swagell, Director of Client Engagement, BESydney at IAC22 in Paris.

Interim CEO of Investment NSW Katie Knight said the successful bid over prominent international space destinations was evidence of the State’s growing importance on the world space stage and would showcase the state’s capabilities, expertise and investment opportunities. “NSW generates up to 75 per cent of Australia’s space-related revenue and 41 per cent of the country’s space businesses are based here. The five-day event will attract 4500 delegates and generate an estimated $21 million in direct expenditure delivering a big economic boost to local businesses.”

Bid leader and SIAA CEO, James Brown said, “Australia has both a proud history and a bright future in the global space industry. We are a pivotal partner for global space missions and a responsible voice in maintaining the sustainability of space. Bringing the world’s biggest annual space congress to Sydney shows the optimism for Australia’s space industry and the global demand for Australia’s space tech and talent.

Australian Space Agency CEO Enrico Palermo said, “The IAC is more than an event, it’s a global platform to promote Australia’s space programs, capability and industry talent. Hosting thousands of the most important players from the global space community will give us a unique chance to show how far Australia has advanced as a space-faring nation – creating opportunities for industry and helping inspire a new generation of Aussies.”

BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said the bid was a testament to the power of collaboration and what can be achieved when all levels of Government, academia, industry and business come together around a shared purpose.

“Business events are an incredible soft power diplomacy asset, with the ability to create impact for an industry, our country and our region before, during and long after the delegates arrive. Whether it be solving global problems, advancing the frontiers of science or attracting the talent to build new industries, the gathering together of global ecosystems is a powerful lever for economic and social development.”

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the Business Events Bid Fund Program helped to secure the International Astronautical Congress for 2025. “There is no doubt that the financial support offered through the Bid Fund Program is ensuring we have a strong pipeline of international business events in Australia,” Ms Harrison said.

“The International Astronautical Congress will deliver significant benefits to the economy and we congratulate BESydney on another successful global event win.”

IAC 2025 will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 29 September – 3 October 2025.