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National challenge-led sandpit event in May to award funding for new collaborative space technology and research projects

NEWS: SPRINT to host challenge-led sandpit event for new funding

Event for UK academics and SMEs will be held from 10-11 May in Wales

The national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) business support programme is running a two-day, national sandpit event for UK academics and SMEs from 10-11 May 2022. The challenge-led event is aimed at developing feasibility studies, to be funded by SPRINT, that will present solutions to industrial challenges set by large space sector organisations.  

Over the course of the two days, participants will discuss and devise proof of concept (POC) project ideas for review. These projects will focus on one of the following space sector industry challenges:   

  • Sustainability in Space: Making Satellite Development and Operation Green 
  • Sustainability in Space: Re-using space objects in orbit 
  • Self-learning SLAM for resource-constrained environments 
  • Space Data for Subsea 

A panel will then award funding of approximately £7,000 each to fund the academic partner in the team to enable a number of two-month feasibility studies that will progress the ideas, development and validation of the proposed solutions. Funds provided by the UK Space Agency will be specifically targeted to allow Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Celtic Arc to actively engage with the SPRINT programme and benefit from the funded collaborations with industry partners that SPRINT can provide.  

The event will be held in Cardiff, Wales. Participants can register at Please note that accommodation costs shall be covered for all attendees to facilitate attendance and one attendee from each applicant organisation shall be eligible for reimbursement of travel funds.   

The event is part of a programme of activities that SPRINT is delivering following a recent agreement with the UK Space Agency to support collaborations with HEIs and SMEs.   

Rain Irshad, Head of the national SPRINT programme said: “This sandpit brings together UK academic and non-academic stakeholders to discuss and devise innovative future research projects. Each of these projects will attempt to resolve real-world industrial challenges set by a range of large space sector organisations.   

“It is an opportunity for researchers and UK SMEs to come together and devise research proposals for projects on topics related to a range of space technology innovation areas.” 

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