Young people will have the chance to send their own small satellite into space as a competition to inspire the next generation of British space scientists and entrepreneurs is launched.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall the contest, which is looking for nanosatellite designs that can help support the UK’s ambitious decarbonisation targets.
Nanosatellites are small satellites that can be used to gather scientific data, such as on climate change, as well as improving data for satellite navigation systems – making journeys better for everyone across Britain.
The £600,000 prize fund will mean the winner can further develop or build their satellite, making it launch-ready, with the potential for it to be launched into space from UK soil.
In 2022, the UK is set to become the first country in Europe to host small satellite launches, with Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, set to be the first operational spaceport.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
As hosts of the G7 and with the first space launches from British soil firmly within our grasp, I want to support the UK’s brightest minds and creative ideas to launch this exciting competition.
This will help to secure a future spaceflight legacy for Great Britain, by inspiring young adults to build the skills needed to work within this growing sector.
With its ambition to double the UK’s global market share of the space sector to 10% by 2030, Britain’s space exploration programme is set to create new high-skilled jobs and economic benefits for communities and organisations across the country.
As international leaders convene in Cornwall for the G7 Summit, the government is accelerating its vision for the UK to be at the global forefront of small satellite launch and emerging space transportation markets.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
We are committed to putting British innovation at the heart of the global effort to understand and minimise the effects of climate change, cementing our position as a science superpower and helping us to build back greener from the pandemic.
As we anticipate with excitement the first satellite launches from British soil next year, this competition gives young people across the UK an opportunity to be part of our country’s thriving space sector and shape a better future for everyone.
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million inclusive of VAT, to develop solutions that integrate climate and environmental factors in the financial services industry.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK as a continuation of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance (CERAF) competition, which focussed on academic innovation.
The aim of the competition is to demonstrate and deploy innovative solutions that integrate climate and environmental factors into financial services.
This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. The decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.
In applying to this phase 1 competition, you are entering into a competitive process. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply for the additional funding available in phase 2.
Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject of a separate, possible competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.
This competition closes at 11am on Wednesday 16 February 2022.
SPRINT (Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology) is a space sector high-growth programme for SMEs to:
How can you benefit?
The SPRINT programme enables small businesses to access funded support for collaborative projects up to £150,000 and benefit from the expertise, data and technology from five of the UK’s top space universities.
SEDS and SUN have now launched SpaceProjects.uk - a new scheme that matches students with companies in the space industry for the individual project they do as a part of their degree, to provide space experience before they graduate.
Have you got an idea for a product or service, but not sure how to develop it? Do you need funding to help your idea fly? Do you want access to specialist information and expertise? Do you want to work with research institutions?
We can help your business with the following:
Understanding your market
Developing your product
Unlocking the market
The Leo Programme is a bespoke, one to one accelerator for high-growth and high potential entrepreneurs.
This accelerator is differentiated from other space accelerators in three key ways:
The focus will be on building competitive, productive, sustainable business models rather than purely on raising investment.
Each entrepreneurial leader will experience intensive coaching and be challenged on their mindset and behaviours.
Each business leader will enjoy access to a range of strategy and content workshops by academics and industry specialists.
We are really looking for novel and innovative ideas to develop an open source structural design concept. Is there something that can be done that hasn’t yet been seen before in the space domain? Can we leverage ideas from other domains?
No space experience? Don’t worry! We welcome anyone with a problem-solving mindset, not just those with space industry experience. We have a detailed information pack which includes "Structure Design 101" pointers – and you'll be able to interact with the OSSAT Community too in our dedicated Designathon !
The designs can be generated in any sensible format: sketches, engineering drawings or CAD models are all OK, we're most interested in your conceptual designs at this stage. All contributions will be accepted in accordance with the principles described in our Manifesto.
The Space Commercialisation Engine is here to make the space-sector more accessible.
Using Earth Observation data and offering Design and Technical support to those with great ideas, we hope to work with you to explore commercial opportunities for the growth of your business and identify solutions to bring about great change.
The capabilities of using satellite data and technologies are vast, having already tackled some of the most challenging societal problems globally. But with satellite data becoming increasingly more accessible, there is the opportunity for new and existing innovators to capitalise and help grow the market.
Space Park Leicester is set to co-host academia and businesses, engaging in collaborative space research both in the upstream and downstream, with an investment of over £135 million in buildings, facilities and people focussed on developing the space knowledge economy. With an ambition of Leicester becoming a world leading manufacturer of satellites and a centre for data services, contributing £750 million a year to the economy.