British companies share space development funding

Twenty-two British companies are to share £2.5m of government support to enable them to develop commercial products and services using space technology or space-derived data.

According to a statement, the grant funding — from the UK Space Agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency — will support 28 fast-track research and development projects, each lasting between six and nine months.

Including match-funding from the businesses involved, the total value of the R&D is nearly £5m.

Projects will cover growth opportunities, ranging from novel propulsion for cubesats, technology to exploit the Galileo navigation satellite system and techniques for crop monitoring from space.

The new investment forms part of the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which will see government investment of £10m to help UK industry exploit growth opportunities in the space sector, which contribute around £7.5bn annually to the UK economy, and improve the UK’s space technology capabilities.