Britain’s space agency has announced £50m (€56.7m) funding for innovative projects to “boost” the UK satellite communications industry.

    The funding, which is part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Services (ARTES) programme, is available for a wide range of projects, such as the development of new constellations of satellites, the ground systems needed to access them or complete end-to-end systems offering new services to customers. The UK is a major investor in ARTES, having committed £190m to the program at the ESA Council of Ministers in November.

    These projects could include the integration of 5G systems to unlock the connectivity of people and machines through the upgrading of infrastructure to enable new markets and services such as drones or driverless transport, the creation of networks to compete with terrestrial wired networks and help UK space operators use disruptive new technologies and business models to enable global operations.

    Science Minister George Freeman said: “Developing the UK’s space capabilities and maximizing commercial opportunities are essential to the national space strategy, as part of our plans to become a leading power in the world. space and build on a sector that is already worth £16.5bn to the UK economy. We are committed to investing in our world-class satellite technology sector, which is why I have committed £1.8 billion for UK participation in ESA programs over the next five years and I recently committed £190 million specifically to participate in international telecommunications missions. This latest £50 million funding from the UK Space Agency will help more companies in our dynamic and fast-growing UK space telecommunications sector, helping to both drive growth and build the UK’s economic resilience. .

    The UK already has a fast-growing satellite communications industry, with services contributing £10.4 billion to the economy and creating more than 26,600 jobs.

    UK Space Agency CEO Dr Paul Bate added: “It is an exciting time to be involved in the satellite communications industry as the world increases its reliance on these services. to manage business, travel, security, infrastructure, connectivity, etc. This funding will help UK companies that have the expertise and ambition to become global players in this market and to be at the forefront of breakthrough technologies that will improve the wider UK space sector, create jobs and generate new investments. I look forward to seeing the results of the competition and following the successful projects in their next steps.

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