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OU wins UK Space Agency funding to grow regional space activity

Astronauts in Space

The Open University (OU) is one of 10 organisations to be given a boost from UK Space Agency (UKSA) regional funding announced on Wednesday 2 February 2022.

The funding comes after the Government published a landmark Levelling Up White Paper, articulating how bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic.

As part of the Arc for Space Group, within the Oxford Cambridge Arc Universities Group, the funding awarded to the OU, will allow it to continue to drive regional space sector growth ambitions in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The work will be delivered in close collaboration with industry, academia, and regional organisations. World-leading space related research programmes will be mapped to develop commercial and funding opportunities for the region to enable businesses to participate and commercialise collaborative R&D projects.

Within the Arc region there is a combination of mature areas of space activity and areas of growth within the sector. This initial piece of funding will kick-start collaborative activity in the region by focusing on:

  • Industry capability and research programmes
  • Identifying funding and collaboration opportunities
  • Encouraging dialogue and building a forum to support and enhance partnerships between industry, business and academia

The OU is working with technology business consultancy Black Kite® Ltd. to deliver the work and the outputs will give additional momentum to the existing growth activity.

Martine Harvey, Regional Space Innovation Manger at the OU, said: “The region has the potential to grow considerably over the next few decades and part of that growth depends on streamlined collaboration mechanisms to make the sum greater than the parts. We are very pleased to be working with stakeholders in the region to enable that growth and begin to realise this potential.

This work will contribute to the UKSA’s ambitions to grow regional participation in the sector, increase local advocacy for space, attract external investment and improve knowledge exchange.

Find out more about the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Read more about OU research into space

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