• UK and Singapore endorse Innovation and Trade agreement
    The signing event, left to right: Harshbir Sangha (Director of Growth, UK Space Agency), H.E. Kara Owen (High Commissioner, British High Commission), Amy Farrington (Head of Business Incubation, STFC), Lynette Tan (Chief Executive, SSTL) and Johnathan Hung (Executive Chairman, SSTL). Credit: STFC

News & Views

UK and Singapore endorse Innovation and Trade agreement

Mar 07 2023

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) UK and Singapore Space and Technology Limited (SSTL) have signed a new partnership agreement reinforcing their commitment to jointly support investment and trade between the two nations, following instigation of an initial agreement in February 2022.

The new signing, conducted at the Global Space and Technology Convention 2023 in Singapore, aims to provide space tech start-ups with the tools, expertise and access they need to thrive on a global scale.

Last year the joint agreement resulted in several initiatives supported by the former Department of International Trade (DIT), including:

  • commercial collaborations with In-Space Missions to organise the Asia Pacific rideshare mission
  • the formation of a UK-Singapore joint venture between Singaporean start-up Navigate Commodities and UK based Earth-i

It has also built on several other successful collaborations between STFC and Singaporean organisations including the £10 million jointly funded Speqtre mission which is led by STFC’s RAL Space in the UK and SpeQtral in Singapore.

Examples of areas that future collaborations will focus on include:

  • reciprocal access to Asia Pacific and European venture capital ecosystems for potential investment
  • reciprocal access to test facilities and resources, supportive infrastructure and national laboratories
  • UK-based space tech start-ups to be considered for SSTL’s Space Accelerator Programme
  • Singapore-based space tech start-ups to be considered for the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK)
  • access for Singapore-based space tech start-ups to the European Space Agency (ESA) network
  • developing collaborations between UK-based and Singapore-based universities for knowledge transfer and capability building

STFC manages and co-funds the ESA BIC UK, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, ESA Space Solutions and the University of Leicester. It is part of the world’s largest business incubation programme for space tech start-ups.

STFC Executive Director for Business and Innovation, Paul Vernon, said: “Space is one of the most innovative and fastest growing industrial sectors in the world. However, for a start-up business, using space technologies to create new and profitable products or services can be a challenging process.

“Successful start-ups are essential to our future prosperity, binging tangible benefits to our economy and society. STFC has a firm commitment to provide the best environment possible for them to innovate and grow, and collaboration is key.

“There has never been a more exciting time for a business to get involved in the space industry and the opportunities it can bring. I look forward to our continued partnership with Singapore Space and Technology Limited as we support our space tech start-ups in their mission to innovate, flourish and succeed in global markets.

British High Commissioner to Singapore, Kara Owen, said: “The UK space sector is valued at £16.5bn and is a fast growing and important part of our economy. We are investing to enable scientists and engineers to participate in some of the world’s most important space missions.

“To get truly successful though, our sector needs to optimise its international connections. Our space partnership with Singapore is a priority for our sector so working with SSTL, the leading space organisation in Southeast Asia, makes absolute sense.

“This agreement will make a very practical and multi-year contribution to building space sectors in both countries. It will provide practical support, access to funding, to testing and other facilities and will deliver more commercial partnerships and joint innovation. I congratulate STFC and SSTL putting in place such a substantive and important partnership.”

More information online


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