Space firms to benefit from start-up cash

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A £1M “launchpad” has been set up by the Government to help the UK space industry take off.

The cash is for firm setting up at Harwell, Oxfordshire, where a hub of space industry businesses is expanding.

A major European Space Agency centre opened at the Harwell science park in 2009. It now hosts the headquarters of the agency’s climate change operations.

The new Harwell investment is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Launchpad initiative which supports businesses and institutions working in the same location.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Government-sponsored board, whose job is to stimulate innovation, said: “Through provision of up to £100,000 per project, and a programme of business and finance support services around the cluster, Launchpad will support winning businesses in achieving their potential and, in doing so, the next generation of high growth space applications and technologies businesses.”