The UK Space Agency is investing up to £32m to open opportunities for the UK space sector to share expertise in real-world satellite technology and services overseas.
Grants will be awarded to British companies to work with international partners developing satellite technology to tackle issues like flooding, deforestation and humanitarian crises in emerging economies.
These grants will be match funded by industry.
The UK space sector continues to thrive, growing at over 7% annually and is currently worth £11.3bn to the UK economy. With over 5,000 jobs created in the last two years, it employs over 34,000 people and supports a further 72,000 jobs in other sectors.
The International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP) will run over two years. It will support UK companies to become trusted partners to provide high-tech exports, thereby growing the UK space sector and creating jobs.
Announcing the money as part of a visit to Airbus Defence & Space in Stevenage this morning, Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “Rosetta has captured the world’s imagination, and the mission is a real testament to British engineering and technological expertise.
“I am very proud that a major part of the Rosetta platform was built in Britain here at Airbus.
“UK space companies are an engine for growth for the UK economy and this programme will support our ambitious target of achieving 10% of the global space sector by 2030.
“This programme will help our international partners to take advantage of British expertise in satellite technology, services and scientific research.
“Today’s funding will give even more UK companies the chance to work on these kinds of exciting projects so that more people can enjoy the considerable economic and social benefits that new space technologies provide.”
Greg Clark toured the Airbus facilities with the European Space Agency’s first astronaut, Major Tim Peake. During the visit they met with engineering apprentices to hear about types of careers in the space sector and promote the #YourLife campaign, which encourages students to take up careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.