The national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) business support programme has been awarded additional funding worth £200,000 from the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to extend its reach to all UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Image courtesy SPRINT / Credit ESA-NASA
SPRINT provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities, helping businesses through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies. SPRINT partner universities include five founding members, eight recently-appointed Associate Members and the programme has recently launched an initiative to engage with additional HEIs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This new UK Space Agency funding will enable SPRINT to target all HEIs across the UK with a grant call and events in 2022. This will provide UK businesses with funded access to the expertise, facilities and capabilities of additional space-focused UK HEIs to support commercial applications of research, commercialisation plans for proposed technologies, or the acceleration of routes to market of existing intellectual property.
Jake Nowak, Local Growth and Knowledge Exchange Manager at the UK Space Agency said: “There has never been a better time to start and grow a space business in the UK, with support networks, funding opportunities and advice available across the country.
“Extending our work with the acclaimed SPRINT programme to all Higher Education Institutions in the UK gives our most innovative space businesses and universities the right support to collaborate, share best practice and drive forward new ideas that could help enrich all our lives.”
Martin Barstow, Principal Investigator for the national SPRINT programme added: “We’re delighted that UK Space Agency has continued to show its support for the SPRINT programme model through this new funding award. This new initiative will help us to deliver high impact partnerships that aim to deliver real-world impact from academic research for the wider benefit of the UK. It will open up the benefits of SPRINT to a national level and allow HEIs that are currently non-members of SPRINT to realise the advantages that it can offer them in contributing to the UK space sector.”
This new funding award follows a recent announcement that the UK Space Agency extended its funding for SPRINT with an additional £200,000 to support collaborations with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In January 2021, the UK Space Agency also announced that it would support five SPRINT projects specifically designed to bring together UK business expertise with universities to help build UK-based space solutions to global problems.