The Government is to grant nearly £6 million to co-fund major new British research that will develop commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems.
The grant funding, part of the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) from the UK Space Agency and the Technology Strategy Board, will support four major research and development consortium projects to be led by Astrium Ltd, Avanti Communications Ltd, DMC International Imaging Ltd and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
The total value of the R&D, including contributions from the participating companies, is over £11.5 million. The portfolio of projects includes participation by 21 partner companies, universities and research organisations, including 7 SMEs.
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: "The UK space industry supports thousands of high-tech jobs in the UK and is an important driver of economic growth. This £6 million investment will build on that success by helping some of the most innovative British businesses develop highly commercial, cutting-edge space technology that will be in demand in a growing global market."
Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said "These initial major projects springing out of the National Space Technology Programme are great examples of innovative and ambitious R&D in the UK space sector. By investing in these projects, we are securing our future national capability across the range of vital applications and services that space technology can provide."
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "We are delighted to support these exciting new projects, which will enable the development, commercialisation and exploitation of space technologies to address challenges and provide growth opportunities across a wide range of emerging markets."
The four projects will:
The investment forms the core part of the UK Space Agency's National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which sees government investment of £10 million to help UK industry exploit growth opportunities in the space sector and improve the UK's space technology capabilities. Last month the UK Space Agency and the Technology Strategy Board announced investment of £2.5 million through the NSTP in twenty-eight short-term, fast-track research and development projects.
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Notes to Editors:
1. The UK has a long heritage of involvement in space and British industry contributes to most aspects of space activity – including hardware, software, infrastructure and services. Currently, the UK's space industry contributes £7.5 billion to the economy, employs 25,000 people and supports 60,000 more jobs across a variety of industries. There is enormous potential for growth in the sector and it could be worth £40 billion to the British economy by 2030 if the UK can increase its share of the global space economy from the current 6% to 10%.
2. This investment forms part of the UK Space Agency's National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which will see government investment of £10 million to help UK industry exploit the growth opportunities identified in the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy and improve the UK's space technology capabilities. The investment is based on the identified current focus areas within the National Space Technology Roadmaps, published and endorsed by the Space Leadership Council last year.
3. The UK Space Agency became fully operational on 1 April 2011 and is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. The UK Space Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. The UK Space Agency therefore leads the UK's civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens. For more information visit: UK Space Agency website.
4. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit: Technology Strategy Board website.
5. For full details of the four projects please visit: Space for Growth flagship projects.
6. For background information about the Space for Growth competition for collaborative R&D funding please visit: Space for Growth comp.
7. The offer of funding to these projects is conditional and remains subject to the successful completion of Technology Strategy Board and UK Space Agency compliance and financial review processes.
8. Companies and other organisations seeking information about Technology Strategy Board funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website – Competitions page , email email@example.com or phone the Competitions Helpline at 0300 321 4357.
9. To see all press releases from the Technology Strategy Board please visit: Press Releases.
10. To subscribe to the Technology Strategy Board's RSS newsfeed please visit: RSS newsfeed.
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