Exist Insight ISSUE 04

South West Start ups and Entrepreneurs to receive funding from the UK Space Agency

Written: 19 April 2017

Exeter University announces opportunities for business incubation with the goal of spurring innovative space technology ventures in the South West.

The space industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy with a growth rate of 7.5% offering great opportunities for new businesses using GPS and earth observation technologies.   The SW Centre of Satellite Applications, along with their partner organisations SETsquared and Goonhilly Earth Station have launched an innovative opportunity for dynamic start-ups to undergo business incubation. 

A selected handful of businesses with potential to commercially exploit space technology, will undertake the Global No 1 SETsquared Entrepreneurship Programme.  Through this, they will gain hands-on experience exploring routes to market, generating revenue streams and perfecting pitches, putting them in a position where they’re ready to test the market.  Four businesses will then be selected and provided with critical ‘grow-on’ space for 12 months, based at Goonhilly Earth Station.

“The importance of innovation in the space industry cannot be overstated,” said Centre Director, Cathrine Armour.  “It will provide dynamic new businesses the opportunity to meet like-minded people with a shared ambition, in an environment that will stimulate and enable business growth in the South West.”

For Exeter University’s Innovation and Impact Department, the incubation initiative will create academic collaborations and widen the university’s reach to the space industry. Along with the provision of expert input, GES Ltd will be appointing a SpaceTech Lead offering on-going support to the start-ups ensuring they’re on track to build networks within UK and international space technology industries.

“Developing businesses often find it hard to connect across boundaries and through a collaboration of university and business partnership, we aim to facilitate interactions bringing them together to stimulate ingenuity, knowledge and innovation, which will enable them to flourish.” Cathrine Armour

The programme is funded by the UK Space Agency to enable growth of the industry where there is a supportive network of organisations to accelerate business growth and broaden the UK’s talent pool within the space sector.  With the incubation aligning with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategic Economic Plan, including the development of a ‘Space Port’ and  Aerohub+ Enterprise Zone’, it is clear that the foundations being laid in the South West are on track to expand and open new opportunities for the local and UK economy.

“This will enhance our specialised sector offer to businesses wishing to set up within the Space Sector, which is becoming a fast moving, emerging market perfectly suited to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.” Sandra Rothwell, CIoS LEP

Who should apply: Entrepreneurs and start-up organisations with an idea for a space tech product or service and  founders of early stage ventures.  To apply visit: www.f6s.com    Closing date for application: 1st May 2017.

For more information about application Spacetech Incubation Programme contact: Cathrine Armour, Centre Director,  South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, C.Armour@exeter.ac.uk