The space sector is a UK success story, with growth averaging over 8% per annum over the last decade, a turnover in excess of £11bn per annum and ambitious plans to achieve 10% of the global space market by 2030.
Much of this growth is anticipated to come from companies using space-derived data or services in a broad range of different sectors (the “downstream”).
This call supports the aims outlined within the space sector’s Innovation and Growth Strategy: Space Growth Action Plan , published in 2013, which highlighted the need to grow space in the regions by providing a supportive business environment to assist entrepreneurs to grow and develop small companies. One method of doing this is through expanding support for business incubation centres across the UK.
This call is aimed at business incubation centres who wish to support start-up companies across the breadth of the space sector through providing funded places, providing access to facilities and resources and collaborating on events and initiatives with other business incubators. The overriding aim is to extend the network of business incubators supporting space companies across the UK, deliver an effective national capacity for space company incubation and ensure shared best practice. The call is deliberately flexible to reflect and build upon the varying local offers for business incubation. Applicants should clearly indicate:
- how the funding will be used to help them to support start-up companies
- how the applicant will target start-ups from the space sector
- how many companies will benefit from Agency support
- how the applicant will ensure these companies are appropriately linked into local and national support programmes (including space-specific activities)
- level of support from local stakeholders
We would expect applicants to demonstrate that they provide the following services before they would be considered for grant funding:
- a robust and defined selective application process for incubated companies
- high quality accommodation
- a diverse business support offering including business planning and strategy, IP protection and exploitation, financial management, marketing and market entry strategies
- strategic opportunities for investor presentations
- individual coaching and mentoring opportunities
- incubated companies are engaged in a community both within and external to the centre
It is recommended that where possible applicants should supply letters of support from their Local Enterprise Partnership (England), Devolved Administration (Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland) or a local University with their application, outlining any alignment that their region’s local plan has to business incubation and local investment.
Successful applicants will join the self-managed recently established network of space interested incubators focused on sharing best practice and offering value-added support across the network’s members.
Quarterly reporting on key performance indicators and the supply of case studies will form part of the contracts with the successful applicants. Grants must be claimed in this financial year and no later than Monday 6 March 2017, banking details will be required prior to the signing of the contracts.
The UK Space Agency is making available £150,000 for this call and a grant of up to £50k will be awarded to each successful applicant. This will be the only call during the financial year 2016/17. N.B. Those who are in receipt of funding from the 2015/16 business incubation call are NOT eligible to apply for funding from this call.
Applications must be submitted to Helen Roberts electronically using this application form, no later than 12pm Wednesday 7 December 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions being submitted to her via email no later than 9am Monday 28 November 2016.
Acknowledgement of receipt of applications will be made via email, if acknowledgement is not received within 48 hours of submission please contact Helen Roberts.
Applicants may be required to present their bid to the selection panel on 14 December 2016, please ensure that you are available before submitting your application.
The judging panel’s decision is final and will be communicated to all applicants by Monday 9 January 2017.