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National Space Innovation Programme

Fund Name

National Space Innovation Programme – Kick Starter – Open Call (Call 1)

Project Length

Up to 18 months

Project Value

£150k - £1m

Deadline

17.11.2023

The National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) contributes to the future capability of the UK space sector and research base by providing funding to develop emerging innovative technologies by raising Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) positioning UK space activities closer to commercial or scientific exploitation.

Proposals are sought for projects in areas including innovation; innovative technology proof of concept that could result in a significant technological step-change; new technology developments; establishing new academic/industrial research collaborations and feasibility studies targeting emerging disruptive technologies.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Examples of acceptable activities are:

  • Innovative and/or emerging technology research and development – proof of concept, feasibility studies targeting emerging disruptive technologies
  • Prototyping or engineering model with relevant environment testing

By the end of the project, there must be a tangible improvement in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the technology or a demonstration of advancement in approach (engineering method, technical competence etc.) that would enable and support the space industry. The UK Space Agency expects proposals to support maturity levels of TRL 1 to 4, though higher TRL developments will be considered.

UK Space Agency aims to spend a target of 30% programme budget on the following technology themes:

  • In orbit servicing capability (High-cadence, high volume complex Rendezvous & Proximity operations)
  • In orbit assembly capability
  • In orbit manufacturing capability
  • In orbit deployment of large structures

Proposals on any other space topic are still eligible for support in this open programme. The Authority reserves the right to award less than 30% on themed calls, based on the submissions received.

Eligibility

  • Awarded projects may start from December 2023 and must have been fully completed within the 18-month project lifetime
  • Where possible, The UK Space Agency would request that applicants schedule delivery of their first milestone prior to the end of March 2024
  • Grant recipients must have a UK bank account and all grant payments will be made in UK sterling (as per the grant funding agreement)
  • All organisations including partner organisations must also be registered in the UK and provide information about their company registration and official address
  • All project members must provide evidence of a process for declaring and managing conflicts of interest
  • All project members must be able to provide evidence that they are General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliant
  • Projects cannot work in areas that are in active conflict and any travel overseas must comply with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) recommendations
  • Projects must pass due diligence checks on company viability (financial standing assessment, governance, conflicts of interest, technical expertise)
  • Formal teaming or equivalent agreements between project partners must be in place within 60 calendar days of the grant signature
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