National initiatives including Space Park Leicester form part of UK Government’s ambitious space growth aspirations
A consortium of UK universities and agencies has been awarded nearly £5M from the Research England in order to fund major national initiatives to enhance research and innovation in the UK space industry.
Government ambitions for the UK space sector target 10% of a global space market of £400 billion by 2030 – a challenging goal requiring a coordinated approach from industry and academia.
The Universities of Leicester, Southampton, Surrey, Edinburgh and the Open University, which together form part of the Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT), have received the £4.8M Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) grant in order to support small and medium-sized businesses engaging with Higher Education institutions, providing them with unprecedented access to university expertise and facilities.
Research England’s funding of SPRINT will act as a catalyst to transform the ways that universities and broader partners collaborate, working to boost economic growth, jobs and prosperity throughout the UK by delivering market-led solutions to the space and space enabled economy.
For the University of Leicester, SPRINT aligns strongly with its Higher Education Industry Funding (HEIF) strategy and its flagship Research Institute, the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation (LISEO), and pioneering work which will take place at Space Park Leicester.
Space Park Leicester is an ambitious initiative to develop a global hub and collaborative community based on space and space-enabled technologies. Based in Leicester, adjacent to the National Space Centre, the Park’s first building is expected to be ready in 2020. It is part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone and was formally launched in March 2017 as part of the Government’s Midlands Engine strategy with an allocation of £12.87 million and £10 million from the University.
Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Science Projects at the University of Leicester, said: “I am pleased to be working with all our partners in this exciting national project, which will transform the engagement of Universities with space and space-related industry. The project will provide small and medium-sized companies with direct access to our expertise and facilities, helping them to grow in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment. It will also make a major contribution towards UK Government aspirations to take a £40 billion share of the anticipated growth in the world-wide space economy.”
More information about Space Park Leicester is available here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/for-journalists/national-space-park
Artist’s impression of the Space Park
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