National Space Innovation Programme – Kick Starter – Open Call (Call 1)

Key Features

The UK Space Agency invites proposals for emerging and innovative technology research and development under its National Space Innovation Programme.

Programme:     UK Space Agency

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 28th Sep 2023

Closes: 31st Oct 2023

! This scheme is now closed


The National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) contributes to the future capability of the UK space sector and research base by providing funding to develop emerging innovative technologies by raising Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) positioning UK space activities closer to commercial or scientific exploitation.


Proposals are sought for projects in areas including innovation; innovative technology proof of concept that could result in a significant technological step-change; new technology developments; establishing new academic/industrial research collaborations and feasibility studies targeting emerging disruptive technologies.

Example of acceptable activities are;

  • Innovative and/or emerging technology research and development – proof of concept, feasibility studies targeting emerging disruptive technologies
  • Prototyping or engineering model with relevant environment testing

By the end of the project there must be a tangible improvement in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the technology or a demonstration of advancement in approach (engineering method, technical competence etc) that would enable and support space industry. We expect proposals to support maturity levels of TRL 1 to 4, though higher TRL developments will be considered.

UK Space Agency aims to spend a target of 30% programme budget on the following technology themes:

  • In orbit servicing capability (High-cadence, high volume complex Rendezvous & Proximity operations)
  • In orbit assembly capability
  • In orbit manufacturing capability
  • In orbit deployment of large structures

Proposals on any other space topic are still eligible for support in this open programme. The Authority reserves the right to award less than 30% on themed calls, based on the submissions received.


Important information to all applicants

  • Awarded Projects may start from December 2023 and must have fully completed within the 18-month project lifetime.
  • Grant funding per project is expected to range from £150k to £1m per grant. In exceptional circumstances, UK Space Agency reserve the right to adjust the value or duration of the grant funding available.
  • These grants are being awarded under the streamlined subsidy scheme, Research, Development & Innovation. Companies wishing to apply will need to demonstrate eligibility to this scheme- including not having received previous project funding that is in excess of the cumulation caps (£3m) identified within the scheme. More guidance can be found at:
  • Terms and conditions set out in the Grant Funding Agreement (GFA) will govern the grant awards with no scope to make material changes, including liability.
  • Where possible, we would request that applicants schedule delivery of their first milestone prior to the end of March 2024.
  • Applications will be assessed under the review process outlined in Section 14 of this document.
  • There will be an online session explaining the application process and answer FAQs on the 17 October, order your tickets via Eventbrite.
  • Applicants are requested to provide an “Expression of Interest” email to by 31 October. This should include the project title, a Lead Contact name, estimated total project value, estimated grant value requested, and a short description of the project (1 paragraph).

For further information on this funding call, please see here.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.