Space Comm Expo: Airbus announces new UK Space Accelerator Program

6th Mar 2024
Space Comm Expo: Airbus announces new UK Space Accelerator Program

Airbus has today announced the launch of its new Space Accelerator Program, in collaboration with UK-based innovation consultancy Plexal, to support UK sovereign space advancement. Airbus Defence and Space UK Managing Director and Head of Country Kata Escott CB announced the new program at the 2024 Space- Comm Expo in Farnborough on Wednesday.

The new programme will assist startups, academics and SMEs operating in the space industry to advance their technological offering, navigate the commercial space industry, and make headway towards minimum viable product (MVP), by providing access to Airbus Defence and Space’s engineering and business support.

“I am proud today to launch our Space Accelerator Program,” Escott said, “Which will fill a gap in the market by providing technical acceleration for the most innovative SMEs in our sector.”

12-week accelerator

She revealed that for 12 weeks each, the chosen companies and projects will be able to accelerate their innovation “by piggybacking off of our expertise and experience in space from Airbus”.

“It will enable competence, exchange, innovation and skills to grow your business regional development and exports. A thriving sector here in the UK is in all our interests. And we are working together to build it.

The program, which falls under the greater Airbus’ Community for Space Prosperity (CUSP) initiative, is currently seeking expressions of interest from projects and startups looking to be considered.

Those selected will benefit from mentorship, tailored development support, peer support, resilience training, and operational growth insight from Airbus Defence and Space, alongside access to Plexel’s co-working and networking spaces.

The program will run over the summer of this year, and be delivered via a mix of in-person and and virtual activities.

According to Plexal, the programme is seeking out companies and academics already working on hardware or software technologies that may have potential applications in space, be that in-orbit or ground-based.

“We’re particularly interested to hear from companies and non-traditional organisations, such as academics, who have not worked in the space environment before as we aim to accelerate novel organisations in this sector,” Plexal said.

The only pre-requisite is that all participants be based in a NATO member state, or Australia or New Zealand.

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