UK Space Agency launches second mission to back space entrepreneurs of the future

19 Dec 2017

Dr Kat Hickey – Business Development and Training Manager at Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, SpaceTech Project Lead

An exciting opportunity has arisen with the SpaceTech Incubation Initiative ( who are offering up to six promising space technology businesses the chance to participate in an award winning entrepreneurs’ programme on behalf of SETsquared, the global no.1 university business incubator.

The programme, which will be held at Exeter Science Park from 26-28 February 2018 aims to boost small businesses looking at new space technology in the South West. It includes a unique package of entrepreneurship training, bespoke business support and the opportunity for grow-on space. There will also be access to grant support. Funded by the UK Space Agency, the South West programme is part of the UK Space Incubator Network ( 

Having been successfully launched in March and following exceptional interest, this is the second call for applications to the programme. 

One of the first graduates of the programme, Mike Badley has since launched his cutting-edge business. Sigma Technical is a pioneering robotics firm that is developing a state-of-the-art diagnostic and physical training machine. Mike attracted £5k of funding through the South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications and significant support from Innovate UK. His impressive design has also resulted in Sigma receiving a Seal of Excellence from the European Commission via Horizon 2020. Mike now has his own facility at the Exeter Science Park Centre.

Growing businesses, start-ups, and individuals with great ideas around developing space technology, applications for satellite or other space related data, or with applications of digital and other technology for space environments are encouraged to apply. Applications close at 11:59 PM on 21January 2018. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit the website:

SpaceTech is an initiative of the South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications (SWCoESA; funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency) in partnership with Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., SETsquared and the University of Exeter. Providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs focused on space-centric innovation, SpaceTech enables participants to gain support and expert input from industry. 


South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications

The South West Centre of Excellence acts as a focal point for satellite data, technology and applications activity, linking the science and research base with industry, start-ups and SME’s in the South West. The Centre takes a leading role in driving economic growth through satellite applications and associated innovation engaging the wider end-user community and their supply chains.  The overall aim is to increase the space based economic activity in the South West region helping to create a high value sector cluster and the environment to develop space-focused business opportunities.

The Centre is one of the Satellite Applications Catapult regional centres and is partnered with the Met Office, Falmouth University, Rothampstead Research, Exeter University, Goonhilly Earth Station and Plymouth University.

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd (GES) acquired the world-famous Goonhilly Satellite Station in 2014. It is an independent, privately-owned SME providing a complete range of satellite communications services and growing an ever wider range of space and data related services.

GES clients include some of the largest global satellite operators such as SES, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, Hughes, Hispasat and Planet. Working alongside ESA, QinetiQ, BAE Systems and SSTL, GES is developing the world’s first private Deep Space Communication system. GES also has close relationships with a wide range of leading universities including Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Southampton, Durham, Herts to enhance UK capabilities in Radio Astronomy.

GES has been awarded Enterprise Zone status as part of the expanded Newquay Airport Aerohub Enterprise Zone. Goonhilly also hosts the Sat Apps Catapult South West Regional Centre of Excellence.

The Goonhilly infrastructure including 24/7 operations, diverse power, 200 GBit/s diverse tier-1 Internet connectivity and a wide range of antennas makes it an ideal satellite TV partner.


Dr Kat Hickey
Business Development and Training Manager

T: +44(0)1326 336723

Ian Jones

T: +44(0)1326 336700
M: +44(0)7774 720118

twitter: @goonhillyorg 

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, Goonhilly Downs, Helston, Cornwall, UK  TR12 6LQ 


SETsquared is a long-standing partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing high-tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other business acceleration services. SETsquared provides mentoring, access to investors and corporate innovators and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.

Its business incubation programme is ranked by the University Business Incubator Index as the best in the world and over the last decade it has helped over 1,500 high-tech start-ups to develop and raise more than a £1bn of investment.

Independent research carried out by Warwick Economics estimates the economic impact of SETsquared member companies to be £3.8bn over this period, with the creation of 9,000 jobs and that these companies will go on to deliver a further £15bn of impact to the UK economy in the decade ahead.

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter in Exeter, Devon, and Falmouth, Cornwall offers research and study in sciences, social sciences, business, humanities and arts.  Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities and SETsquared Partner University.  In 2016 is was one of only eight universities ranked in the Top 10 of all the international league tables.  Its research includes expertise in all of the Regional Smart Specialisations including core technology enablers for the space industry eg. engineering, structures, control systems, computer science and IT remote sensing applications, satellite imagery and satellite tracking technology.  The University specialises in subjects relevant to space technology and applications development such as geography, geology, medicine, medical science, physics and astronomy and is linked into networks with the ESA, NASA and the Royal Astronomical Society, with grants for Horizon 20/20/FP7 and Interreg together with industrial collaborations including Demios Space, Alenia Space, PML and QUESTUAV.

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency:

•         Co-ordinates UK civil space activity

•         Encourages academic research

•         Supports the UK space industry

•         Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad

•         Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits

•         Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers

•         Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft

•         Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme


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