Earthrise - Apollo 8
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The UK Space Agency has so far invested €35m in the current three-year phase of the GSTP

New space sector funding to keep UK ‘at the forefront’ of innovation

The Government has announced a new route of funding for businesses in the UK’s space sector.

Grants of €200k (around £175k) have been organised by the UK Space Agency in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) to offer industry innovators a new way of funding technology developments.

The cash is available under the ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP), which first launched almost 25 years ago.

UK Space Agency chief exec Dr Graham Turnock believes the grants will help keep the UK “at the forefront of technological innovation”.

He said: “The Government’s recently published Industrial Strategy set out a clear vision for the UK to become the world’s most innovative nation and we are working with industry to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”

The grants will allow those interested in the GSTP programme to propose a project for development directly to the UK Space Agency.

Funding for some ideas will be provided straight away, while discussions on others will continue with a view to future development, the Agency said.

To date, the UK Space Agency has invested €35m (£30m) in the current three-year phase of the GSTP.

The aim of the GSTP is to turn the most promising engineering concepts into products ranging from individual components to satellites and satellite applications.

The new grant funding is aimed at smaller entry-level projects.

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