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Scottish businesses given access to top uni experts

A new £90,000 fund has been launched giving Scottish businesses access to some of the top space technology experts in the UK.

The SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme will give Scottish businesses access to top university experts and facilities to help them develop new commercial products for space and other sectors.

Any small to medium enterprise (SME) which applies will get to work with a range of universities as part of the project, including University of Leicester, the University of Edinburgh, Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.

Recent reports have suggested that the $350 billion space industry, which includes global positioning system technology and weather forecasting, could grow to as much as $2.7 trillion by the 2040s. It is hoped the fund will help Scottish SMEs capitalise on this growing sector by developing new products, as well as using technologies or data from space to enhance their products for other sectors.

Steve Greenland, Founder and CEO of Craft Prospect Ltd, a Glasgow-based space engineering practice said:

As a small business, having a single point of contact allows us a greater awareness of cutting edge research within UK universities. We are now evaluating and prioritising how best to move forward.

The fund is part of a larger £5m programme funded by Research England and the Scottish Funding Council, and was launched at a national conference in Glasgow earlier this year.

Image by the University of Surrey

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