The national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) business support programme has selected eight UK universities to join its new Associate Membership initiative.
The universities joining the SPRINT Associate Membership partner initiative include City, University of London; Durham University; Kingston University; University of Bristol; University of Exeter; University of Glasgow; University of Leeds and University of Strathclyde.
The Associate Membership initiative aims to broaden the provision of space-related knowledge exchange across the UK. The new Associate Members will participate alongside founding partners of SPRINT – the University of Leicester, the University of Edinburgh, The Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey. SPRINT provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities, helping businesses through the commercial development of space data and technologies.
The new Associate Members will support the wider SPRINT ambition to deliver national prosperity and contribute to levelling-up by connecting into this existing space cluster, enabling a truly national SPRINT network and supporting the wider UK space ecosystem to foster collaboration in the delivery of space technology innovation.
The Associate Members are located across the breadth of the UK and are well connected to existing locally-led space clusters and ecosystems across the UK. In particular, they bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the research domains of earth information to tackle climate change, connectivity to ensure real-time access to data for decision-making and low cost access to space including propulsion.
By bringing additional space related facilities, capabilities and talent to the existing SPRINT network, the Associate Members will amplify the support that SPRINT already offers in the development of cutting-edge space products. The new Associate members will broaden the network to enable continued innovation activity through priority sectors such as robotics and smart machines, advanced materials and manufacturing, AI, digital and advanced computing.
Ann Swift, National Innovation Manager for SPRINT said: “SPRINT is designed to enable the pull-through of innovation into commercial opportunities to expand UK exports, IP, and know-how. With our new Associate Members, we will further showcase the strengths of the UK space sector to provide a compelling opportunity for international investment from the UK’s leading space technology innovation network.”
Martin Barstow, Principal Investigator for the national SPRINT programme and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the University of Leicester-led Space Park Leicester project, added: “The UK space economy is recognised as one of the fastest growing sectors and is constantly evolving. One of the driving principles of the SPRINT programme is to support commercialisation of space-enabled projects by successfully bringing science, research and data expertise to UK businesses. The Associate Membership initiative will strengthen the academic resources and capabilities available through SPRINT to facilitate space sector growth.”