National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) – Flagship Projects

Funding opportunity:

National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) – Flagship Projects



Funder and programme:

UK Space Agency (UKSA) – National Space Technology Programme (NSTP)

Grant value (range):

£ 800,000 – £ 1,000,000



Competition closes:

09/07/2018 (12:00 noon)

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) invites proposals for space technology research and development projects to the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) – Flagship projects.

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:

  • 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 EU State Aid Regulations.

NSTP Flagships are large scale technology projects which have a grant value of £800,000 – £1,000,000 and are required to be completed within 24 months. The projects should be highly innovative and have strong enabling potential for future space activities; projects developing instrumentation for commercial applications are also encouraged.

Projects should develop technologies to a high TRL (typically 5 or above), offer a significant commercial opportunity and have a clear exploitation route to market. New products would be considered a positive outcome of the project. The case for the expected business return on the investment should be clearly presented in the proposal, which should also contain technology development roadmaps that show links to the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy 2014-2030.

Eligible activities include industrial research and experimental development. Downstream applications, data transmission, ground infrastructure and software-based projects are acceptable if they have a strong technology development element and provide a step change in capability. Projects which only offer an incremental improvement or which do not have a significant technology element are not in scope.

Proposals of the highest technical quality that demonstrate urgent need for funding to access an important mission and/or business opportunity will take precedence over proposals addressing more speculative objectives.

Proposals for projects which are from collaborative teams will be given preference and the UK Space Agency encourages combined industrial-academic teams (any organisation type can lead). Note that there are private venture concessions for collaborative activities. UKSA will also consider collaborative proposals that form part of a larger activity funded by one or more other organisations, provided that the proposed work falls fully within the scope of NSTP. UKSA encourages those organisations new to space technology to participate in this Call.

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 its value to the bidder.

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.

MSC R&D can help your business develop by supporting you in:
• Identification of appropriate grants and competition calls for proposals
• Partner search for collaborative Research & Innovation
• Bid writing
• Project management
• Audit compliance
• Commercialisation
• Business Planning
• Market Intelligence reports

If you want help with any of these opportunities, please CONTACT us on 0114 230 8401 or email