£300,000 in Funding Awarded to Space Technology Exploitation Programme recipients

Posted on 6 June, 2023 by Joscelyn Turner

  • Three Northern Ireland organisations have been successful in bidding for funding through the Space Technology Exploitation Programme (STEP).
  • STEP supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the space sector supply chain to engage with large companies.
  • A total of more than £300,000 has been awarded.
  • The space sector generates a turnover of £17.5 billion and value add of £7 billion to the UK economy, with exports worth £5.9 billion.

Farnborough (7 June 2022) –Three space organisations from Northern Ireland have been successful in applying for funding through the Space Technology Exploitation Programme (STEP). Announced today by ADS Group and the UK Space Agency, £300,000 in funding has been awarded to the organisations to support their engagement in the wider supply chain and space economy. 

STEP was launched in February 2023 as one of eighteen projects by the UK Space Agency in order to boost the UK’s space sector. 

ADS will oversee the pilot programme enabling supply chains SMEs in Northern Ireland to engage with large companies and use innovative, new solutions to overcome technology challenges – unlocking new potential markets and building UK space capabilities, as asserted by the National Space Strategy.

The three successful projects participating in the inaugural funding round of the programme are:

  • ANGOKA Ltd – ANGOKA’s technology protects space based optical communications, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of data with a quantum resilient solution.
  • IceMOS Technology Ltd – IceMOS Technology Ltd uses an advanced engineering substrate for a Radiation Tolerant, High Voltage Silicon Carbide embedded Drain MOSFET for High-Voltage Power Distribution on Space Spacecraft for LEO, MEO and Deep Space Exploration.
  • Skytek Technology Ltd - AR4Space harnesses Skytek’s ground-breaking advancements in Augmented Reality technology, specifically tailored for the Spacecraft Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT) sector.

Kevin Craven, Chief Executive of ADS Group said: 

“Northern Ireland is renowned for supply chain excellence, and I’m delighted that three innovative SMEs from the country are taking part in the STEP programme.  

“The three projects set to receive the funding have applications that can impact the lives of all. As the UK rapidly expands its presence in the global space economy, programs such as the STEP ensure that the UK retains its strategic advantage and is at the forefront of unlocking new capabilities and skills.” 

Congratulating the successful applicants, Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive at the UK Space Agency, said: "Creative talent and technical space expertise can be found across the length and breadth of the UK. These projects, delivered in partnership with ADS, are brilliant examples of that from Northern Ireland's growing space sector. They will help catalyse investment, create jobs, and develop new capabilities within the space supply chain.”

Later this year, the UK Space Conference will take place in Belfast, playing a powerful role in raising awareness of the Northern Ireland space sector. 

ADS Group is the UK trade organisation representing Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space organisations, with more than 1,200 member businesses.

ADS delivers innovation funding programmes through a partnership with industry and government including: Space Technology Exploitation Programme (STEP)Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) and the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).