New funding from UK Space Agency announced across six ‘cutting-edge’ projects

Six projects to improve infrastructure and encourage collaboration across the UK’s growing space sector have been announced today at Space-Comm Expo, following the publication of the government’s Space Industrial Plan.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), one of the nation’s leading satellite manufacturers, has won a project from the UK Space Agency’s flagship Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund (SCIF).

The £250k public investment, matched by the company, will enhance SSTL’s facilities with a Research and Development Imager Cleanroom in Guildford. This will support the development of ‘cutting-edge’, space-based imaging technology, the ‘eyes’ of satellites that monitor our planet and the space environment.

SCIF, which has awarded £47m to date, for projects ranging from a space skills centre in Newcastle to a microgravity research centre in Cardiff, builds upon the UK Space Agency’s wider investments to develop the UK space ecosystem.

Minister for Space, Andrew Griffith commented: "Our £250k investment in Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd underlines the key role this Government sees for UK businesses in advancing global space capabilities."

“Aligned with our new Space Industrial Plan, this funding will enhance SSTL's research facilities so it can drive forward innovation in cutting-edge imaging technology, which is so crucial for satellite operations.”

Philip Brownnett, Managing Director of SSTL, added: "We’re pleased to have been selected by the UK Space Agency for the Space Cluster Infrastructure Fund. 

“By enhancing our optical Research and Development Cleanroom Facility, the new project will help address the growing need for space-based imaging equipment for a wide range of commercial, defence and governmental customers. This will give a real boost to cutting-edge research into space imaging technology carried out in the UK.”

The UK Space Agency is announcing a total of £500k for a further five projects today to foster collaboration between the UK’s network of space clusters:

  • Space North: Uniting Space Hub Yorkshire, the North West Space Cluster, and Space North East England to showcase the region’s resilient communications expertise, attract inward investment and boost research and collaboration.
  • Unlocking Space for Agriculture: Bringing together regional space and agricultural sectors in Scotland and the East of England to explore challenge-based opportunities through space capability research and knowledge-sharing.
  • South West Space Partnership: Building on the strengths of Space West, the Cornwall Space Cluster, the West of England Combined Authority, Cornwall Council and Invest Bristol & Bath, this pan-regional partnership aims to promote the region’s space capability, attract international investment and develop strategic collaborations.
  • Power4Space: Strengthening ties between the North West Space Cluster and Midlands Space Cluster, and their respective supply chains, to seize commercial opportunities in novel power systems for deep space applications.
  • Using Earth Observation to monitor Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Seaweed Production: Leveraging Earth observation capabilities within NI Space, Space Wales and the Space East clusters to monitor water bodies for harmful algal blooms and seaweed production, improving delivery of local government services using space assets and data.

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