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SPRINT - SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology

Funding details
Award
Up to 60% of project value; max project value £150,000. Applications accepted constantly, with a rolling deadline of 3rd Friday each month.
Organisation
SPRINT is delivered by the University of Leicester, University of Edinburgh, the Open University, University of Southampton and the University of Surrey.
Summary

The UK has a world-leading and growing space sector. In our modern society, space is integral to how we go about our daily lives, our understanding of how to protect and benefit the world we live in and pushes the boundaries of scientific discovery and technology development. The UK Government has set an ambitious target to the UK space sector to capture 10% of the global market by 2030 and you, supported by SPRINT, can help to make this a reality.

It’s not all about the space sector, however. Technologies developed for space, and the data that is beamed back to Earth from satellites in orbit can have profound effects and benefits for products and services destined for other sectors. From agriculture to tourism, financial services to healthcare, space data and technologies can play their part in enabling innovation in the non-space sectors and SPRINT university partners have decades of experience in supporting these cross-sectoral initiatives.

SPRINT has a network of innovation advisors who will help you identify how space technology could help your business, and  when you have identified a way for you to collaborate with a SPRINT university partner on a collaborative project to support your business growth you can apply for a SPRINT Innovation Voucher to help fund the project. Your SPRINT Innovation Adviser will supply the necessary application form and guidance and will help you and the academic team from the SPRINT university partner to complete and submit the form.

SPRINT provides Innovation Vouchers to help fund collaborative projects between your company and the SPRINT university partner(s). These projects can enable you to exploit space technologies and data in a wide range of commercial activities including:

  • Space products / technologies to the space sector
  • Space technologies and data deployed in non-space markets and applications
  • Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and non-space technologies deployed in space markets

SPRINT Innovation Vouchers can also be used to support feasibility studies, business planning, market analysis and other non-technical activities vital in product development cycle. SPRINT Innovation Vouchers can help fund projects in two types:

‘Entry Point’: Short projects up to a total project value of £50,000 in which SMEs can access the space expertise capabilities of one or more of the partner universities to address key challenges on the trajectory to full commercialisation of their product or service. Typically these projects are for earlier stage development and feasibility studies. Higher technical risk is acceptable as long as the appropriate efforts in business plan development and market assessment are demonstrated (or are incorporated as part of the project).

‘Lift Off’: An intensive programme of support to help bring products and services to market in shorter timescales. With support for project values up to £150,000, SMEs can access the expertise, facilities, knowledge, technology and training of the partner universities to shorten technical development, testing, and production engineering timescales. These projects are to accelerate the development of products and services, bringing them quicker to the market than would otherwise be possible. The end point of a project should be a closer-to-market product or service and a clear plan towards completion and launch into the chosen market.

SPRINT funds the university’s costs in delivering the collaborative project whilst your company funds your own costs. For any collaborative project to be funded by SPRINT Innovation Vouchers the company is expected to contribute at least 40% of the total combined costs of delivering the project whilst SPRINT funds up to 60% of the project costs.

SPRINT is an ‘always open’ call; however, we do have monthly application deadlines falling on the 3rd Friday of every month.

Eligibility

Any UK-registered SME is eligible to receive Innovation Vouchers from SPRINT.

Some company structures can be complex and include involvement of non-UK entities. The outcomes of a collaboration project funded by a SPRINT Innovation Voucher should contribute to an increase in growth (i.e. in GVA and jobs) in the UK operations of the business. Therefore, only UK-registered companies with active R&D activities based in the UK will be considered eligible .

SPRINT has been designed to support growth in SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises). We use the European Union definition of an SME which can be found here: bit.ly/whatisanSME. For companies under part-ownership from larger firms it is particularly important to follow the guidance in the link above to ensure you meet the SME eligibility criteria.