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Catapult Satellite Applications

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Powered by the Satellite Applications Catapult

Space Commercialisation Engine

A new business support programme driven and delivered by the Satellite Applications Catapult, aimed at accelerating innovative and commercially viable Earth Observation (EO) ideas into the market;  for businesses of all sizes.


Our Mission

The Space Commercialisation Engine is here to make the space-sector more accessible.


The engine is a programme that supports innovative EO ideas through research, investigation and development of an early stage prototype within an accelerated time scale. This process also allows access to networks of partners and looks to open investment opportunities.

The process includes a review of the commercial case for the idea and then develops from idea to early stage proof of concept within a 3-6 month period. Managed by the Satellite Applications Catapult, the Space Commercialisation Engine has access to considerable design and technical expertise, including cutting edge technologies from university partners.



Download the application form

About Us

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.

The Space Commercialisation Engine is a national programme managed by the Satellite Applications Catapult and is based at the fantastic new Space Park Leicester.

The Satellite Applications Catapult is the nation’s foremost space innovation agency and is tasked with delivering growth in the UK space sector. The new Space Commercialisation Engine programme provides the market with a new and optimised style of support programme.


This Space Commercialisation Engine is designed to address and support a market of commercially exciting and innovate EO ideas, increasing the potential for business growth and successful funding.

It will provide a fail-fast, agile, and cost-effective way to develop a mature ideas pipeline for commercialisation and provide new IP and licensing opportunities to industry. It will provide a robust mechanism to test the viability of technology in the context of real market challenges with a business centric journey to market, while de-risking and accelerating the technology readiness of EO technology and applications.

The Catapult is uniquely positioned to support that translation opportunity, building on 7 years of experience of enabling business, empowering technology, and energising the market, complementing the strengths of Leicester as an international leader in Earth Observation research.



Through close connections to the University of Leicester, one of the largest space research universities in Europe, and other UK based academic research institutions, the Catapult technical and design team can access state-of-the-art solutions.

Innovation and Development

The single goal is to produce a service or product that works for your customer. The design and technical experts within the Catapult have huge experience in the space sector and coordinate with the best-in-class academic partners to deliver this service.


Important to all of the technical development is whether the service or product satisfies a market need. As the UK’s largest space and innovation agency, the Catapult’s business and commercial strategy experts draw upon their extensive resources and market knowledge to support all analysis.

No matter what stage your company is at, if you have an innovative idea and think we can help, we would like to hear. Whether you’re someone starting out on their journey using satellite data or an established company looking to expand or broaden its capability, we’re here to help.
Read Our FAQs

Who is it for


START UP - Entrepreneurs who want to start-up


SCALE UP - SMEs who want to scale-up


SPACE UP - Business not using space data, but believe that it can provide added value

How it works

We want everyone to get the most out of this collaboration and give you the best chance of success.


  • Welcome to the Space Commercialisation Engine
  • Eligibility - A quick check to see if you comply with our eligibility requirements.
  • Agreement to our terms and conditions - A recommendation to take a look at these to make sure you’re happy.
  • Onboarding

  • Application - Our online application form lets us get to know you, about your business, idea, support needed and what you want to gain by working with us.
  • Diagnostic - We review your idea and see how we can help
  • Proposal - Upon reviewing how we can help, we will draft out a journey of what you can expect our collaboration to look like.
  • Agreement to Proceed - Once we’re all happy, it’s time to sign and begin working together.
  • Design Process

  • Research amd Concept Generation - Research and understanding of the idea and market needs, and identify a solution
  • Concept Development - Technical investigation to explore viable options to define a solution
  • Prototyping - Minimum viable product definition, evaluation and development. User testing of prototypes needed to refine solution
  • Commercialisation support - Identifying next steps to market and launch a solution
  • Project Completion

  • We have completed our project!
  • Aftercare support
  • Our Objectives

    • To accelerate an Earth Observation idea to an early stage prototype by testing the submission for customer and investment potential
    • Establish multidisciplinary advisory board(s) for technical, ethical and commercial guidance and advice
    • Secure funding for delivery of Research, Development and Innovation, and Commercial programs of activity
    • Promotion, awareness raising and capacity building for space-based idea advancement.
    • Support the Design, Development, Demonstration and Operationalisation of the unique Space Commercialisation Engine

    What are the benefits?

    • Access to expertise to help make the most of cutting-edge satellite data
    • De-risking product development and increase market demand with an agile, user-centred approach
    • Reducing the time to market for new ideas, supported by robust business model strategies
    • Access to Space Park Leicester’s additional on-site business support service ecosystem
    • Increasing market reach through access to strategic partnerships across the UK
    • Engage in-person or virtually using state of the art collaboration technology
    Read our FAQs

    Our Home

    The Space Commercialisation Engine is based in the Catapult offices in the new Space Park Leicester building. This is also the home to the University of Leicester’s Space Enterprise Lab and space faculty and many space related SME businesses.

    The creation of this Engine is certainly timely as Leicestershire has been announced as one of three new High Potential Opportunities (HPO) areas for the space sector.  The HPO scheme, coordinated by DIT, identifies opportunities to attract foreign direct investment into emerging sectors, regions and clusters – creating new jobs and growth.

    Get in touch

    As well as applicants to collaborate with, we are also looking for:

    • Manufacturing partners
    • Earth observation experts
    • Other

    To start your application, please download the form below.

    Download the application form

    The Catapult's Space Commercialisation Engine will be based in a physical hub in Leicester where technologists, academics, entrepreneurs and investors

    work closely together to bring EO enabled ideas quickly to market.