UK Government grants worth as much as £75,000 are available to the UK space sector to develop new commercial technologies and bring them closer to market.
The funding from the UK Space Agency is available for businesses, non-profits and academics.
The UK has a thriving space sector that generates an income of £14.8 billion each year. The UK Space Agency is working closely with industry and academia to ensure it recovers strongly from the coronavirus pandemic.
This funding call, as part of the National Space Technology Program (NSTP), is looking for innovative 6-month projects that could develop instruments for commercial applications or test disruptive ideas.
Since launching in 2011, the NSTP has supported 272 projects. Previous successful applicants include Belstead, which improved drag sail methods in the removal of space debris, and a collaboration between the University of Bristol and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to track and analyze volcanic ash clouds, which can be detrimental to jet engines.
The NSTP funds four types of grants. This call for Pathfinder projects aims to increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of space technologies, encourage collaboration between industry and academia, and encourage new entrants to the space sector.
The UK Space Agency is leading work across government to develop a comprehensive UK space strategy. A new National Space Innovation Program will further strengthen national space capabilities and international space co-operation, while creating high-skilled jobs across the country.
Charles McCausland, Head of Major Projects and Technology Development, UK Space Agency, said, “The National Space Technology Programme has a strong track record of developing new ideas and driving growth in the UK space sector, with support available for organisations of any size. In 2019, we successfully funded 58 projects. As we ramp up support for national space capabilities and develop the new UK space strategy, the programme will continue to play a major role in forging new collaborations and backing early-stage technologies with future potential.”