More than 20 British companies are to share £2.5 million of government support to enable them to develop commercial products and services using space technology or space derived data. The grant funding – from the UK Space Agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency – will support 28 fast track R&D projects, each lasting between six and nine months. Including match funding from the businesses involved, the total value of the R&D is nearly £5million.
Projects will cover a broad range of growth opportunities – ranging from novel propulsion for cubesats to technology to exploit the Galileo navigation satellite system. Dr David Williams, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: "The UK space industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, contributing £7.5bn annually to the UK economy. The National Space Technology Programme will help us further this success by providing an opportunity for promising UK space technologies and applications to be developed to meet their full commercial potential and for businesses to explore collaborations with other sectors to establish services in new markets." Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "This new investment in research and development by the UK's space industry will help innovative British businesses to design and develop cutting edge products and technologies that will be in global demand, helping to drive UK economic growth and support high tech jobs here."