Guidance

Apply for funding through the National Space Technology Programme

The National Space Technology Programme is a capability programme encouraging the development of space technology in the UK space sector.

Evaluation report: National Space Technology Programme 2

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NSTP College of Reviewers open invitation

The UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme would like to invite applications from qualified and experienced individuals from academic, industrial and not-for-profit Government institutions to increase their College of Reviewers. The College of Reviewers supports the UK Space Agency’s project selection process with peer-reviews and the evaluation of proposals, providing independent advice and recommendations on which proposals might be considered for funding.

NSTP College of Reviewers invitation

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The UK Space Agency’s aim is to drive growth into the UK economy by supporting the development of space technology and skills, as embodied in the UK Space, Innovation and Growth Strategy (Space IGS).

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Cabling used for space technology projects.

NSTP offers support by funding industry, academia and other (not for profit) government institutions, who are looking to develop technology and build new capabilities for the UK Space sector. NSTP offers funding opportunities for projects across all ranges, from startup companies to more established industry. We encourage collaboration on projects both large and small, inspiring new and existing industries to develop and contribute to the growth of the UK economy.

The NSTP funds four types of grants, Flagships, Fastracks, Pathfinder and Grants for Exploratory Ideas. The NSTP team will co-ordinate and oversee the activities of each project to ensure that the Agency objectives are met.

NSTP Brochure

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Project Highlights

NREP AstroTube™ Max Boom Industrial Research

Light-field photography

An optical fibre sensor to measure nanometre changes in position

Ku-Band Satellite Receiver with a difference

MicroLaunch Rectenna

How to apply for funding

The NSTP announces funding opportunities each year for projects that align with the National Space Technology Strategy, using related technology roadmaps. We welcome proposals across the following themes:

  • access to space
  • sensing
  • positioning, navigation and timing
  • exploration and Robotics
  • telecommunications

Throughout the year we will announce project calls with varying financial opportunities to industry, academia and not for profit institutions. You will be invited to apply by providing a proposal of the work you wish to undertake, producing financial tables with project outcomes and future development.

Funding for industry is measured by General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER), with rates depending on the type of project you wish to undertake.

Future funding opportunities

Further Calls for NSTP funding will open later this year.

Project types

Project Types

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Currently funded projects

Grants for Exploratory Ideas (GEI)

Grants for Exploratory Ideas (GEI): list of projects

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Fast track

Project Title Lead Organisation
Critical assessment of the production and performance of a large format SWIR avalanche photodiode array Leonardo MW Ltd
Quantum Research CubeSat University of Strathclyde
The Development of Advanced Composite Materials for Use in Non-Metallic Liquid and Gas Propellant Storage Tank Applications Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd.
Cost-Effective Micro-Vibration isolation for S/C with High Stability Requirements University of Surrey
Smart tanks for space – TRL raising and validation Atout Process Limited
FSW & Spin-forming Modern Propellant Tanks Horizon Space Technologies Ltd
AQUAJET AVS UK Ltd. (AVS)
Integrated Microwave Propulsion Architecture for Telecommunications Satellite (IMPULSE) University of Southampton
Space IR Camera Flight Design Neptec UK Ltd
Methera System Feasibility Methera Global Communications Limited
Light-field photography: Technology development of bespoke multispectral optics for Earth, lunar and planetary observations Dynamic Imaging Analytics Limited
3-D Printed Millimetre-wave Components for Guided-wave and Quasi-optical Systems for Spacecraft Payloads National Physical Laboratory
Halo Thruster 200 Development Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Scalable On Board Data Handling Architecture for Nano and Microsatellites University of Surrey
Packaging Superconducting Detectors, Sensors and Electronics for Space Applications University of Cambridge
TDI CMOS Capability Development e2v
Photonic SAR study Airbus Defence and Space Limited
General Purpose Avionics Computing Platform for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle & Other Applications Orbital Express Launch Limited (OrbEx)
Omnisat Backplane Development Thales Alenia Space Ltd
HTP Turbopump Development Lena Space Ltd.
Compact fibre-based optical oscillator for ground and space applications National Physical Laboratory
Development of an optical fibre injector for LISA Glasgow University

Pathfinder

The National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) has confirmed the selection of 21 “Pathfinder” projects. The latest group of projects to receive NSTP grant funding will support a wide range of space technology developments in companies and universities across the UK. Projects that are being funded include the development of an additive manufactured liquid rocket injector head; a light-field video system for motion-tracking in robotics, exploration and science; and the development of a prototype for the interactive visualisation of scientific data in a mixed and virtual environment. All Pathfinder projects are funded for up to 6 months and are due to complete in early spring 2019. The full list can be found below.

Project Title Lead Organisation
Development of Cost Effective Cryogenic Propellant Tanks Geodome Ltd
Vast Satcom Antenna Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
Drag Sail Dynamics: From Deployment to Demise Belstead Research Ltd
Additive manufacturing of CubeSat mirrors Science and Technologies Research Council as part of United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Development of a Novel Laser Steering Mechanism (NLSM) University of Surrey
Resistojet Thruster RT-01 Lyonspace Limited
Radiation Hard Space Power Sheets University of Cambridge
Mars Dust Removal System Magna Parva Ltd
LOCALS: Low Cost Approaches to Launch range Safety UK Launch Services Ltd
Prometheus - A low cost scalable thermoelectric generator for Space applications EU ECO Technologies Ltd
MiniTANK The University of Sheffield (USFD)
Structured Light Lidar Neptec UK Limited
AM Injector Head Development Lena Space Limited
Frequency Scanned Antenna Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
Thrust Balance AVS Added Value Solutions UK Ltd
Project Lambda: An industrial collaboration to enable the application of new alloys to additively manufactured rocket engines Airborne Engineering Ltd
High Voltage Unit for the Electrospray Thruster of Southampton University AVS Added Value Solutions UK Ltd
CubeSat Camera: Imaging Sensor Testing Science and Technologies Research Council as part of United Kingdom Research and Innovation
TrackerCam: Technology development of a light-field video system for motion tracking in robotics, exploration and science Dynamic Imaging Analytics Limited
Immersive space science and engineering data visualisation in mixed and virtual reality University of Southampton
Development of an Innovative Dry Neutraliser for Low Power Ion Engines Mars Space Ltd

Previously funded pathfinder projects

Previously funded pathfinder projects

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Previously funded fast track projects

Previously funded fast track projects

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Published 5 December 2016
Last updated 6 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. New National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) pathfinder projects announced.
  2. New funding opportunity added, Grants for Exploratory Ideas call now open.
  3. Currently funded fast track and path finder projects have been announced and a new project highlight added.
  4. First published.