Space tech projects given funding boost by UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency has given a boost to a number of space technology projects across the UK with a round of ‘levelling up’ funding to aid space growth in the country. 

A total of £6.5m worth of support has been given to 18 different projects in all four home nations with a focus on using space tech to address local issues that could then be scaled up to a national level.

UK Space Agency Chief Executive Dr Paul Bate said: ‘Establishing a network of space clusters and high impact projects will accelerate the development of the thriving space ecosystem the UK needs to realise the full economic potential of space across the UK. 

‘We’ve been working with the regions to understand their strengths and the needs of their local space economies so that we can back these clusters of excellence to collaborate, grow and thrive.’ 

The projects selected include the Space for Good: Water Management with EO Data project from the Cornwall Space Cluster which is seeking to address water leakage in the area using space tech. 

A GreenSpace scheme from Space Hub Yorkshire to establish a network of organisations to use Earth Observation data to support the UK’s Net Zero commitments was also included alongside £1.5m towards an ‘expert consortium of business support providers’ to work with entrepreneurs to become involved in the space sector. 

Selected projects will also receive support from the Satellite Applications Catapult which provides business support and ‘centres of excellence’ in the UK as one of nine ‘Catapults’. 

CEO of Satellite Applications Catapult Stuart Martin said: ‘This additional funding will help cement relationships across the UK’s space community while forging new collaborations with those not yet utilising and benefiting from space data and technology. 

‘We look forward to ensuring that the sector as a whole takes advantage of the opportunities presented through these locally led initiatives and supporting a connected and thriving ecosystem.’ 

Other projects selected to receive funding include: a Pivot into Space scheme in the Midlands, a sustainable Scottish space sector programme from Space Scotland, a Dark Sky Observatory in Wales, and a SpaceCraft support facility in the South. 

Funding will also go towards the creation of Space Cluster Managers for different areas of the UK who will work with government and organisations to encourage collaboration and coordinate activities in the sector for their area. 

The UK’s space industry was brought to national attention recently with the failure of the country’s first orbital satellite launch, though Virgin Orbit have said they are already looking at another attempt from Spaceport Cornwall later this year.

Photo: NASA Johnson (CC BY-NC 2.0)


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