University offers vouchers for space technology development

Engineering firms are being invited to apply for grants to help them develop space technologies by ’buying’ services from Surrey University and/or its partners.

The university launched the Space Engineering Innovation Voucher Scheme in partnership with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).

Keith Robson, director of Research and Enterprise Support at the university, said: ’Surrey University’s Space Centre (SSC) is ideally positioned to help companies develop products either for use directly in space or in downstream markets, for example providing GPS-based services, satellite imaging, processing space data or using space technologies for applications in other sectors.’

Grants of up to £8,000 are available to help businesses exploit projects and ideas for which they lack the technology or expertise to do alone, and can be used for any activity that furthers existing innovative projects, products or services.

Applicants must be SMEs or startup companies based in the SEEDA region and preference will be given to proposals which align with expertise available from the university. However, grants can also be used to access suitable support from other universities in the UK

Applications for the innovation vouchers will be judged by an expert panel and preference will be given to those projects that align with existing capabilities at the university and the newly formed Space Engineering Innovation Centre (SEIC) that offers incubation space and business support to SMEs.

The call for applications will close on 31 January 2011.