The UK Space Agency has announced the first-ever round of recipients for the £20m International Bilateral Fund investments, which was established to connect UK organisations with the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Singapore, South Africa and more to advance funding and research opportunities into space technology.
Some projects are focused on international cooperation, whereas others are more research-driven.
Winning projects include using superconductors for spacecraft control to managing space traffic.
Lizzie Kerr, director of UKspace, said: “UKspace welcomes the announcement of the first projects funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Bilateral Fund.
“International collaboration underpins the success of the UK’s space sector – and this new programme is an important new route to unlock new international partnerships, benefitting companies overseas and here in the UK.”
UK-based Vertical Future is leading one project, which will see it partner with Axiom Space, Saber Astronautics, Cambridge University and the University of Adelaide to develop an autonomous controlled environment for plant growth to support space missions.
Meanwhile, satellite manufacturer In-Space Missions will work with regional Asia-Pacific governing bodies to support a multi-agency accelerator programme designed to enable novel space technologies and rideshare missions.
It is hoped these bilateral partnerships will improve the UK’s space sector by drawing on global expertise and put it in a leading position to generate a diverse and collaborative global space sector.
The full list of winning projects, which will each receive up to £75,000 of the initial £2.1mi financing, come from organisations in Australia, USA, Scotland, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Bahrain.