A new programme has been launched to help Scottish SMEs access funded support up to £90,000 for the expertise, data and technology from five of the UK’s top space universities.
The SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities to help businesses develop new commercial products for space and other key sectors.
The new, £5 million SPRINT programme is supported by Research England and the Scottish Funding Council. It is being delivered by a consortium of five of the UK’s leading space universities, led by the University of Leicester and including the University of Edinburgh, Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.
The programme will support UK small to medium enterprises in the innovation and development of new space-enabled technologies, services and applications, helping them to enter the growing space sector with existing and new products, and using technologies or data from space to innovate products for their markets.
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The SPRINT programme was launched in Scotland at DATA.SPACE 2019, the information conference of the new space revolution, held from 24-25 January 2019 in Glasgow.
Professor Iain Woodhouse, Professor of Applied Earth Observation; Head of Geography and the Lived Environment Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh said: “The University is proud to be a SPRINT partner to support Scottish businesses developing commercial products for space and other key sectors.
“We bring to SPRINT a research heritage in advancing the use of satellite and geospatial data for the development of downstream services of space. We are also developing geo-data science techniques for integration of EO data from satellites, ground sensors, high-altitude platforms, drones and UAVsAt space data.”
Robin Sampson, Founder of Trade in Space Ltd, developing technologies to enable asset securitisation based on satellite imagery said: “We’re delighted to make contact with the SPRINT network and look forward to further engagement and access to Earth Observation expertise, especially through this initiative.”
Steve Greenland, Founder and CEO of Craft Prospect Ltd, a Glasgow-based space engineering practice said: “Craft Prospect has engaged with the SPRINT programme and received great support to investigate potential collaboration projects. As a small business, having a single point of contact allows us a greater awareness of cutting edge research within UK universities. We are now evaluating and prioritising how best to move forward.”
Dr Ross Burgon, Head of the SPRINT Programme at the University of Leicester added: “We launched the SPRINT programme at this year’s DATA.SPACE event and it was very well received by the Scottish space sector. We’re now working closely with our partner universities in Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and the Open University to explore with SMEs how SPRINT can to support their business growth through the exploitation of space data and technologies.”
For more information on the SPRINT programme, visit https://sprintnetwork.space