Space company wins funding for communications mission
A Scottish space company has won funding for a pioneering communications project.
Glasgow-based Craft Prospect received a £870,000 grant award through the UK Space Agency National Space Innovation Programme for its ROKS Mission, coupled with a first investment of £300,000 from the University of Strathclyde, a leading university in quantum technologies.
The funding supports the company’s Smart Secure Space vision to provide quantum and onboard AI (artificial intelligence) products and services for next generation space systems.
It follows on from successful investment of over £1m from Capital for Colleagues, a fund that advises and invests in employee-owned businesses and Scottish Enterprise earlier in the year.
The Responsive Operations for Key Services (ROKS) pathfinder mission will demonstrate technologies for future secure telecommunication systems using quantum communications and supported by artificial intelligence. The goal of the current phase will be to produce a payload ready for launch and demonstration in 2022/23. In addition to University of Strathclyde, the company will lead a consortium including University of Bristol and Fraunhofer UK.
Over the last 12 months the company has created over 10 highly skilled jobs in the space, quantum and artificial intelligence domains based in the old Fairfield shipyards in Govan.
Managing director Steve Greenland said: “Securing such significant follow-on funding from the UK Space Agency shows the quality of the cutting-edge work already delivered by the team and the return from our investment in growing our capability and facilities over the last five years.
“With existing strong research links into the University of Strathclyde, we can see a pipeline of opportunities to collaborate on industrialising and deploying these emerging technologies in space, and now have the financial backing required to deliver further high value demonstrations.”