UKSA Pledges £ 47M Towards Space Infrastructure with SCIF27th Nov 2023
The Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) has awarded over £47 million in match funding for 12 projects. In total, these projects supported by SCIF will see almost £100 million in upcoming investments, enhancing the industry, creating jobs, and helping to build the UK’s space ecosystem.
SCIF across the UK
The SCIF funding plans to build upon the support offered by the UK Space Agency to create clusters of space travel capabilities and an environment for businesses to thrive and support the space industry in general. The SCIF is in place to help connect local talent, build proper supply chains, and ensure a thriving private space scene to assist with the agency’s efforts.
Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Andrew Griffith, spoke about the funding:
“Making Britain a space superpower means backing brilliant ideas up and down the land and harnessing the full potential of talent in our growing sector – from Dundee to Newcastle, Cornwall to Snowdonia.”
“By investing with the private sector in research and facilities across the UK, we are ensuring they become home to global industries that support the growth of our £17.5 billion space sector, create hundreds of new jobs and build dynamic businesses across the UK.”
How these funds will be divided
Some examples of the funding’s distribution include £10 million to Northumbria University to develop the North East Space Skills and Technology (NESST) centre which will sit in Newcastle and provide services to local companies looking to create space products.
Almost £8 million will go to Cardiff-based company Space Forge to create a National Microgravity Research Centre, which will carry out advanced material research and production.
iCOMAT in Somerset will see an automated production facility created with £4.8 million of the funding, forming a cluster of domestic R&D and production sites and building on the UK’s existing knowledge of composite materials to create space structures.
Lizzie Kerr, Director of UKspace, said:
“The government’s commitment to the space industry is endorsed by this Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund supporting the UK space industry to lead and deliver in SpaceTech. Providing this funding enables space companies to accelerate their respective products into the market both nationally and internationally and this helps to make the UK an attractive place to do space business.”
This is further good news off the back of the recent £1.84 billion invested by the European Space Agency in November, to help ensure that the UK’s space sector can be a vital cog in the future of space exploration and satellite technology.