UK space industry gets funding blast off

Government announces £8.5m Space for Growth programme

The UK government has announced an £8.5m competition to develop commercial products from space technology and data.

The Space for Growth programme will match funding for a range of projects proposed by industry in the areas of satellite telecommunications; sensing; robotics and exploration and access to space.

Science minister David Willetts said: “The UK space industry is an important driver of growth and supports thousands of the most high-tech jobs we have in this country.

“This investment will take that success further, as part of the £10m for space technology announced in the Budget.

“It will help innovative British businesses design and manufacture highly commercial, cutting-edge products that will be in global demand.”

Space for Growth will provide up to £2m for flagship projects and up to £100,000 for smaller projects. All projects must be collaborative and business-led and have a clear route through to commercial exploitation.

The competition opens on 31 October and is funded by the UK Space Agency, which is contributing £6m in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency.