Space firms offered funding for innovation
Engineering firms can help fight the recession by applying for research vouchers for space technology from the University of Surrey.
The University, in partnership with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), has launched a Â‘Space Engineering Innovation Voucher Scheme’
This academic and industrial collaboration will support small and medium enterprises and start-up companies working in space industries or in related areas such as communications, GPS, processing of satellite images etc.
Keith Robson, Director of Research & Enterprise Support at the University said: Â“The University of Surrey´s Space Centre (SSC) is the largest satellite engineering research group in Europe. In addition, Surrey is one of the top UK universities in telecommunications, electronics and software. We are therefore ideally positioned to help companies develop products either for use directly in space or in downstream markets, for example providing GPS based services, satellite imaging, processing space data or using space technologies for applications in other sectors.
Â“The innovation vouchers can be used by companies to buy service from us or from our other, specialist partners to kick start new businesses or help existing companies develop their ideas into products or services. Altogether, it is a potentially huge market, estimated to grow to Â£400billion over the next 10 years. The innovation voucher scheme is a great way to get started!"
Grants of up to Â£8,000 are available in two stages, for high quality proposals.
The vouchers will help businesses exploit projects and ideas for which they lack the technology or expertise to do alone, and can be used for any activity that furthers existing innovative projects, products or services, acting as a catalyst towards commercialisation.
Examples of how the vouchers could be used:
Â• Access to University of Surrey academic research expertise
Â• Use of University facilities for proof of concept/demonstration
Â• Patenting or IPR licensing costs or Legal advice
Â• Market research/marketing communications
Applicants must be SMEs or start up companies based in the SEEDA region and preference will be given to proposals which align with expertise available from the University of Surrey. However, grants can also be used to access suitable support from other Universities in the UK
This scheme is the first of many business development activities that will emerge from the newly formed Â‘Space Engineering Innovation Centre’ (SEIC). The Centre will offer incubation space and business support to SMEs, professional space engineering training courses, access to specialist software, and a programme of collaboration workshops between academia and industry. The Facilities will open in Spring 2011.
SEIC is a partner to the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) in Harwell, Oxfordshire. The Centre aims to exploit the potential of Â“small satellite technologies", in alignment with the national Space agenda.
How to Apply:
Applications for Innovation Vouchers will be judged by an expert panel and preference will be given to those projects that align with existing capabilities at the University of Surrey and the SEIC.
Successful applications will show true innovation and a clear opportunity for market exploitation, either within the space engineering sector, or downstream opportunities into new industries. Go to Space Innovation Funding for the application form.
The call for applications will close on 31st January 2011
To complete your application please download the application form and email to:
Julia Hart, Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively send it by post to: Julia Hart, Research & Enterprise Support (H4), University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH.
Notes for Editors:
The Surrey Space Centre (SSC), a Research Centre of the Faculty of Electronics and Physical Sciences (FEPS) at the University of Surrey, is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering, whose aim is to underpin the technical development of the space industry through its advanced research programmes. SSC, comprising 10 academic staff, 11 research fellows and over 70 postgraduate researchers, develops new innovative technologies which are exploited by the space industry.
University of Surrey
Surrey, GU2 7XH,