The cash injection is going to high-risk, high-reward projects that support companies and universities with radical ideas for how we tackle climate change through Earth Observation or address satellite communications challenges, from providing greater connectivity to remote places to increasing the efficiency of our homes.
Projects set for the cash boost include The Open University who will use the money to create the UK’s first Precision Forestry tool, TreeView, which will support efforts to tackle the climate emergency through detailed measurement of tree-planting initiatives aimed at increasing carbon dioxide removal.
Surrey-based Global Satellite Vu will build a new compact, high-resolution infrared camera for satellites to measure thermal emissions from our homes, schools and places of work, supporting the government’s green economic recovery plan.
Space Forge will take advantage of the unique qualities offered by the space environment. By manufacturing in microgravity, the space start-up hopes to produce a next-generation computer chip for the terrestrial and satellite telecommunications industries and return them from orbit for use on Earth.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We want the UK to be a world leader in space technology which is why we are supporting our most ambitious innovators who are developing first-of-a-kind technologies to help solve some of our greatest challenges.
“From slashing carbon emissions to protecting the UK’s critical services from harmful cyber-attacks, today’s funding will unshackle our most entrepreneurial space scientists so that they can transfer their revolutionary ideas into world-class products and services, while helping to boost the UK economy.”
The funding comes from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP), which is the first UK fund dedicated to supporting the space sector’s development of innovations, allowing us to compete internationally on the world stage with other countries, like France and Germany, which have dedicated national funding for space.
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