Qi3 – Quality, Insight, Integrity & Innovation - UNITING TECHNOLOGY & MARKETING

Tag: space

The International Space Station is now open for business

By Mark Littlewood

David Willetts, the UK Science Minister, recently announced £12 million funding to support UK participation in the European Life and Physical Sciences (ELIPS) programme over the next 4 years – part of a package of £60 million per annum to boost the UK’s spending in space.

This is exciting news because the UK hasn’t contributed funding to this programme, or any other involving Human Spaceflight, so UK scientists have been disadvantaged in taking leading roles in research projects. At the end of September, Qi3 was contracted by ESA (European Space Agency) to review the UK’s academic and industrial capability in areas relating to ELIPS in order provide evidence to the UK Space Agency ahead of the the ESA Council of Ministers meeting in late November.  We analysed the scientific research case, the business opportunities for supply to ELIPS, knowledge transfer opportunities and industrial use of the ELIPS facilities to provide an integrated view of the value of the ELIPS programme for UK science and industry. We deployed the methodology already used successfully to provide an industrial rationale for UK participation in the Aurora programme of Mars exploration.

This is the third time Qi3 has been asked to provide rapid input ahead of ESA Ministerial meetings. The space sector in the UK is growing strong and showing opportunities for new companies to enter. Forgive the (very bad) pun, but watch this space…..

Golden Opportunities in Space Supply Chain

Space is a great business, as well as fun for the kids.  Last week, I was invited to Astrium in Portsmouth to give a talk about the opportunities for non-space companies to sell into the space sector. Readers of Qi3 Accelerator Insight will know that I’m passionate about promoting the space sector to wider communities. Of course, I like to think that I’m a reasonably interesting person, but it was clear that on that day my talk wasn’t the most interesting as far as useful facts were concerned.

Chris Ward, Head of UK R&D at Astrium, provided a noteworthy presentation with insightful statistics. I’ll focus here on some key figures:

  • Astrium has €1B sales annually of which 53% accounted for manufacturing and 47% accounted for services (an increase from almost nothing over the past decade).
  • In manufacturing, 70% (approx. €385m) of business was subcontracted of which €100m was spent with 400 UK companies.
  • In services, 35% (approx. €176m) of business was subcontracted of which €100m was spent with other UK companies.

In such a gloomy business environment, this undoubtedly represents €200m of golden opportunities for companies who wish to sell into the space supply chain.

My talk emphasised what’s available for companies in this sector, with specific focus on technological and service opportunities for suppliers.  Mail me to request a copy.

Support for technology and innovation in space

At last! Support for technology and innovation in space. I’ll help anybody who wants to participate in this call. TSB Feasibility Studies For Innovation in Space – Opens January 2011. £2m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across the space industry. Feasibility studies should last <=3 months and cost <= £33,000 in total with TSB funding 75% (up to £25,000).

Read more about £2 million funding to stimulate space innovation

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