UK Space Agency: Current Funding Initiatives
The Space for Smarter Government Programme, or the SSGP, is an initiative that was created in 2014. The UK Space Agency currently oversees the operation. Funding is also provided through the UK Space Agency. The SSGP has teamed up with the Satellite Applications Catapult to deliver the programme. The idea behind this initiative is to promote the government’s use of space knowledge through inventions and services. The SSGP has made it their goal to launch and progress regular use of space technology to ensure innovation and growth across government departments.
The SSGP aims to create a world where the public sector will make more use of satellite data and space related products and services for years to come. Their collaboration will achieve this with other UK public sector operations and the Satellite Applications Catapult.
The Mission of the SSGP Organization
The SSGP mission can be defined by the following core objectives:
- Promote cross-government conversations. Additionally, the Space for Smarter Government Programme wishes to encourage engagement between government, industries and academia.
- Ensure efficiency of cost and effectiveness when using government resources by accelerating the use of space-enabled services.
- Significantly increase the use of space-related services by government departments to contribute towards the UK space industry growth target by 2030.
- Identify issues with accessibility to space data and bridge the gap for satellite technology.
- Learn more about the target audience and find ways to strategically place the initiative where they will have access to it.
- Create a training catalog.
- Raise awareness of the SSGP through public engagement (events, rallies, competitions, etc.)
The SSGP aims to offer access to Funding Opportunities, Business Support, Satellite Communications, Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Earth Observation, and many other resources that will contribute towards the UK’s space industry growth goals.
Opportunities for Funding
Gaining Access to UK Space Agency Funding
The SSGP has very clear goals to implement its mission. However, it is a tedious journey that requires much help. There are a number of programmes outlined below that provide routes to funding:
- ESA Business Applications – This funding programme creates
opportunities for greater commercial application and service development of
space technology. Currently, the ESA Business Applications programme offers
matched funding for increasing the use of this technology. Throughout the year,
they invite calls to tender, which generally center
around specific topics. There are some specific routes to funding, for example through the ARTES
Invitations to Tender, which cover six
months and up to 75% ESA funding of up to 80 000€.
Information about this can be
- Innovate UK – This United Kingdom Space Agency promotes science
and technology as a motivating force for the economy. The Innovate UK programme offers a variety of monetary support
models for new ideas and also provides helpful direction & support
for businesses. The current routes to access these resources
are through the Enterprise
Europe Network and the Knowledge Transfer Network. For further info, visit the official website.
- International Partnership Programme (IPP) – This programme, managed by the UK Space Agency, has offered grants to space-related initiatives since 2017. The goal of the programme is to present stable economic and societal
provisions for countries that do not have easy access to such resources. The International Partnership Programme
conducts open calls throughout the year. To take advantage of this effort,
visit the official website for the UK Space Agency.
- Horizon 2020 – This program is conducted by the European
Commission. Since 2014, it has been providing approximately 80 billion euros in
funding to SMEs. It is a collaborative program that performs
frequent open calls for funding opportunities.
What are the main requirements for UK Space Agency Funding? Everything to Know Before Applying
The agencies and programmes contained within this article are only a few of the many growing opportunities for funding a space technology initiative. There are many more funding routes available including from the private sector. The UK Space Agency are the most logical starting point, particularly for a startup business that will benefit from its experience and significant resources. If you have developed a technology that qualifies or are in the process of doing so, you may take advantage of the Small Business Research Initiative, which offers additional support.
The UK Space business is reaching a point where it is poised to begin a rate of acceleration that will see many new startups come and go, with a need for huge infrastructure and supporting services. The country already produces a huge percentage of the world’s satellites and has been significantly involved in many other space technologies, but the point we now find ourselves at is one of a completely new industry growing out of that. There are exciting times ahead.