UK to Launch New Funding for International Space Collaborations

UK to Launch New Funding for International Space Collaborations

A government funded cash boost of £5 million will be used to back pioneering collaborations concerning international space projects in disaster relief, robotics, and space debris.

Through the National Space Innovation Programme, innovative services and technologies will be used to support science, UK trade, and security with major global space players such as France, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

Projects that could potentially be supported by the programme include the use of new monitoring technologies to tackle the issue of space debris, tracking issues such as climate change using Earth observation satellites, and providing specialist disaster relief assistance with the use of space science and satellite applications.

The most beneficial international collective projects from UK academia, industry and research organisations will be granted between £250,000 and £2.5 million.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway said:

“The UK’s space sector is playing a critical role in tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges – from monitoring climate change to providing vital relief for countries heavily affected by natural disasters.

This funding will provide the UK’s leading space scientists and researchers with an international platform to continue fulfilling the incredible potential of space technology, working collaboratively with our global partners, while boosting UK space exports and creating skilled jobs”.

International Director of the UK Space Agency, Alice Bunn said:

“This funding is an important step to growing the UK space sector’s influence on the global stage. There are over 100 space faring nations across the globe now, many of which are looking to collaborate with the UK. This funding enables us to seize and develop these opportunities, creating high-skilled jobs and boosting our economy”.

This funding opportunity adds to the UK Space Agency’s existing work on a global scale. Earlier this year in June, the UK government signed an agreement with the US government which would enable US space companies to operate from UK spaceports and to export launch technology.

In September 2019, the UK and the Australian Space Agency signed an agreement that would enable the foundations to be made for negotiations concerning space-related prospects under any prospective future UK-Australia trading agreements.

The International Partnership Programme, or IPP, is additionally run by the UK Space Agency and has enabled 43 projects in nearly 50 developing countries across Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America. The IPP has also developed new partnerships between 186 UK-based organisations, and 183 international organisations.

Since 2010, the UK space sector has grown by over 60%. Through the use satellite services and the employment of over 40,000 people, the industry supports £300 billion of UK economic activity. Estimated to be a £60 billion market, the space sector will continue to generate space-related opportunities, specifically in relation to communication technologies and Earth observation.


1. UK Space (2020), UK to launch new international space collaborations

2. Space Daily (2020), UK to launch new international space collaborations

3. Evening Express (2020), UK to launch new fund for international space collaborations