The UK Space Agency invites proposals for space technology research and development projects to the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) – Grants for Exploratory Ideas (GEI).

This NSTP Call aims to develop the capability of the UK space sector by providing seed funding for early-stage innovative ideas.

Project proposals are sought for space technology research and development projects in areas including early Technology Readiness Level (TRL) innovation; technology proof of concept; small technology developments; establishing new industrial research collaborations; market studies; or studies into spin in or out of technologies for space.

Industrial co-funding may be required for the selected projects in accordance with the Subsidy Control procedures.

NSTP funds projects across 5 themes:
• Access to Space
• Exploration and Robotics
• Position Navigation and Timing
• Sensing
• Telecommunications

Grants for Exploratory Ideas (GEI) are short projects to support innovative space technology activities.

They have a maximum grant value of £15k, approximately 15 projects may be funded and will be of maximum 3 months duration.

The UK Space Agency would particularly like to encourage organisations (industry, academia, and SMEs) new to space technology to participate in this Call.

Acceptable activities are:

• Early TRL innovation
• New technology concepts
• Knowledge transfer
• Skills development
• Refining an idea
• Undertaking a market survey
• Proof of concept (which could include proposals previously submitted for NSTP)
• Fundamental research
• Feasibility studies
• Experimental development
• Industrial research

In all cases it is essential that the project proposal shows how the grant will make a difference to UK space technology capability, in addition to their value to the bidder.

Out of scope activities include funding of CASE students, training courses and outreach. Applicants should contact the UK Space Agency at if they are unsure if an activity is likely to be within the scope of the Call.

This Call is open to UK Higher Education Institutions, other research organisations (including not for profit organisations), SMEs and industry. Industry-industry and industry-academia collaborations are encouraged and there is no restriction on which type of organisation can lead.