The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has extended its funding for the national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme. The additional £200,000 of funding will support collaborations with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This will increase the collaborative opportunities for UK space-related businesses to work with academic experts and create high value partnerships, supporting the development of the UK space sector and the growth of the UK economy.

The additional funds provided by the UKSA will allow HEIs in the devolved nations to actively engage with the SPRINT programme and benefit from the funded collaborations with industry partners that SPRINT can provide. SPRINT Innovation Vouchers will provide funded access to research assistance from HEIs across the ‘Celtic Arc’ of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, supporting SMEs in delivering technology development and innovation for space or for space-enabled applications.

The funding will also support the delivery of a number of engagement events targeting HEIs in the Celtic Arc. The aim of these events is to showcase the support that SPRINT can provide to SMEs and how this can build longer-term partnerships that result in sustainable collaborations for investing in the future of the UK space sector.

Colin Baldwin, Head of Local Growth Strategy at the UK Space Agency said: “The National Space Strategy sets a clear ambition to unleash innovation and foster collaboration between space businesses and our world leading universities. Through UK Space Agency funding we are extending the reach of the highly successful SPRINT programme to deliver on these aspirations and ensure that the space economy works for everyone across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.”

Martin Barstow, Principal Investigator for the national SPRINT programme added: “The extension of the support offered by the UKSA will enable SPRINT to spread our scope to the devolved nations. The additional opportunities with the new HEIs will further support innovation across the UK space sector by enabling collaborative knowledge projects that accelerate the sustainable growth of the UK space companies involved.”

This new funding award follows an announcement in January 2021 that the UK Space Agency would be supporting five SPRINT projects specifically designed to bring together UK business expertise with universities to help build space solutions to global problems, on UK soil.

Information event

An event for interested parties will be held in Edinburgh on 25th and 26th November and is free to attend: click here to register for a place. The event runs noon-5pm on Thursday 25th (optional dinner) and 9am-2.30pm on Friday 26th.

This 2 day event will enable attendees to learn more about

1. £200k of SPRINT Innovation Vouchers to provide funded access to research assistance from HEIs across the ‘Celtic Arc’ of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, supporting SMEs in delivering technology development and innovation for space or for space-enabled applications.

2. Forthcoming engagement events targeting HEIs in the Celtic Arc

3. The additional support that SPRINT can provide to SMEs and how this can build longer-term partnerships that result in sustainable collaborations for investing in the future of the UK space sector.

Please note that travel grants may be available to cover HEI costs based in the Celtic Arc subject to need. Please enquire about the travel grants by emailing info@sprint.ac.uk

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