A BUSINESS centre has been given a £50,000 grant to help start-up companies working in the space industry.
The UK Space Agency has announced the funding for a space business incubator at the Fareham Innovation Centre at Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent, run by Oxford Innovation, which will provide science innovation support for entrepreneurs and small businesses to help grow the UK space industry.
In March the UK Space Agency gave just under £50,000 to a joint scheme between the University of Portsmouth’s Innovation Space and the National Oceanography Centre’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, in Southampton for an incubation centre in Portsmouth and an innovation hub in Southampton. This round of funding also saw £50,000 given to a centre in Bordon.
The latest funding follows the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which includes a £50m programme to enable new satellite launch services and low gravity spaceflights from UK spaceports, to boost the economy and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
UK Space Agency chief executive, Dr Graham Turnock, who made the announcement at the STFC RAL Space Appleton Space Conference at Harwell in Oxfordshire, said: ‘The funding for these new business incubators will see the excellent network of support we have in the UK expand and provide further opportunities for exciting start-ups in the space sector, with 15 incubators working across 22 locations.
‘The Industrial Strategy underlined the government’s commitment to make Britain the best place to start and grow a business, with prosperous communities across the UK. Supporting new businesses across the UK is central to reaching our ambition of capturing 10 per cent of the global space market by 2030 and I am sure these new incubators will have a fantastic impact.’
The space sector underpins industries worth more than £250bn to the UK economy.
Jo Willett, managing director of Oxford Innovation said: ‘Our centres in Fareham and Bordon are already home to high technology SMEs that have potential innovations in the space sector. This funding will help us to support them and also other businesses to bring their ideas and solutions to market.’