Space companies to benefit from £1 million investment in research and development

Space companies to benefit from £1 million investment in research and development

03 Dec 2012

Companies working in, or looking to set up in, the space community at Harwell will benefit from £ 1 million funding to help them to go further and faster towards commercial success.

The investment in innovative R &D projects is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Launchpad initiative which supports business groups, suppliers and associated institutions who work together in the  same location.

A Launchpad is one of the Technology Strategy Board’s business tools designed to support the growth phase of existing clusters – a geographic concentration of interconnected business, suppliers and associated institutions in a particular field.  Due to the concentration within a cluster, there are often advantages of speed and knowledge transfer that the Launchpad initiative encourages.

This builds on the success of the Technology Strategy Board’s £1.25 million investment in London’s tech and digital hub Tech City in 2011.  The competition attracted over 200 applications from SMEs to work in the digital space in Shoreditch, London, gaining an additional £1.5 million of private sector funding  towards 13 projects now at various stages of completion.

Support to raise appropriate new external finance is a key component of a Launchpad and applicants are  likely to benefit most from participation in the programme if this aligns with their business objectives. 

The Space Launchpad will encourage engagement with space sector expertise and facilities on the Harwell campus.  These include the European Space Agency, the Science & Technology Facilities Council, RAL Space and the Satellite Applications Catapult centre, a world-class centre for the development and commercial exploitation of space and satellite-based products, services and applications currently being established at Harwell.

Future planned Launchpads are in the materials and manufacturing sector, which will focus on a cluster of companies around Daresbury and Runcorn Heath, as well as a series of Launchpads in digital and creative clusters across different parts of the UK.

In each Launchpad the Technology Strategy Board will be working with a local partner organisation, known as a cluster champion, to deliver a full package of support to the competition winners and to engage with the cluster as a whole.

Find out more about the Harwell Space Launchpad competition here

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Last updated on Wednesday 02 January 2013 at 15:04

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