UK Government Allocates £15m for Commercial Space Tech Projects

Z Patel

UK Space Agency Seeks Tech and Science Projects for Commercial Space Mission Funding

The UK Space Agency is seeking technology and science projects to fly onboard a potential commercial mission. This follows preparations for an agreement with Axiom Space, a US company that facilitates visits to the International Space Station (ISS), with the goal of launching a British astronaut mission, potentially to the ISS. However, the £15mn (€17.5mn) funding will depend on the mission’s actual progress.

Annelies Look, Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency, stated, “We want to keep the UK space sector at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation, so this has been front and centre of our work with Axiom Space since October.”

Why This Matters

The UK is looking for technology demonstrators that can aid in exploration and test innovative solutions in a space environment. Specifically, projects related to AI, engineering biology, future telecommunications, semiconductors, and quantum technologies are sought after. Additionally, the agency is looking for solutions that align with its tech roadmap, which prioritizes advanced manufacturing, in-situ resource utilization, life support, and crew performance.

Interested candidates have until April 29 to apply, and successful projects must commence by June 2024, with the development process to last 18 months.

t/f Summary: Diversifying Space

The UK is heavily investing in space tech, aiming to capitalize on the growing commercialization of space exploration and the global space economy, projected to reach $1tn (€897bn) by 2040. In addition to public funding, the country has attracted significant private investment. According to VC firm Seraphim, the UK nearly doubled its total year-on-year investment to $326mn (€301.7mn) in the third quarter of 2023.

Moreover, the UK seeks to become the first in Western Europe to host vertical rocket launches and is home to multiple startups driving innovation in the space sector, including Open Cosmos and Space Forge.

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By Z Patel “TF AI Specialist”
Zara ‘Z’ Patel stands as a beacon of expertise in the field of digital innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Holding a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning, Z has worked extensively in AI research and development. Her career includes tenure at leading tech firms where she contributed to breakthrough innovations in AI applications. Z is passionate about the ethical and practical implications of AI in everyday life and is an advocate for responsible and innovative AI use.
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