£1.5m programme to help British businesses lift-off
A £1.5 million programme to give innovative businesses across the UK the chance to send their projects into space has been announced by the Science Minister Jo Johnson.
Tech companies across the UK will compete to take part in the In-Orbit Demonstrator (IoD) programme, run by the government’s innovation agency Innovate UK and the Satellite Applications Catapult, designed to give businesses working on new satellite technologies the unique chance to test their products in orbit.
With 40% of the world’s satellites produced in the UK, satellite technology is a fast growing sector –responsible for everything from providing superfast internet connections to remote and hard to reach places to tracking illegal fishing and analysing the best places to sow crops.
But for many small and start-up businesses, being able to test the products that they have been working on in order to demonstrate their uses is a real barrier to success – preventing them from securing deals and hindering their prospects for growth and job creation.
This new competition will give businesses the chance to bolt their products on one of four satellites funded through the Satellite Applications Catapult Programme, and fully test them to make it easier for businesses to then take them to market.