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OU research to support small businesses in boosting the UK space industry

The Open University (OU) is part of a consortium of UK universities and organisations to be awarded almost £5 million to support small businesses in enhancing innovation and research in the UK space industry.

The grant of £4.8 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will provide small and medium-sized businesses with unprecedented access to university expertise and facilities. The Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT) will bring together academics from the OU and the Universities of Leicester, Edinburgh, Southampton, and Surrey.

Academic lead and Professor of Electro-Optics at The Open University, Andrew Holland, said:

“The OU has collaborated on some of the most exciting and inspirational space missions over the last 30 years, including Beagle II, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, and the Rosetta Mission, which successfully landed on Comet 67P in 2016. The expertise and techniques our space scientists developed on these missions, and in other research, will play a vital role in supporting UK businesses to contribute to the UK space industry.

It is great to be one of the leading partners in SPRINT, which will support the UK space sector in its ambitious growth, bringing new skills and talent to the sector.”

The SPRINT funding is part of an investment of £67 million through Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) in new collaborative projects, between universities and with other partners, to support world-class university commercialisation.