Craft Prospect has announced twin successes in securing funding for commercial growth.
The company received a £870,000 grant award through the UK Space Agency National Space Innovation Programme for its ROKS Mission, coupled with a first investment of £300,000 from the University of Strathclyde.
The funding supports the company’s Smart Secure Space vision to provide quantum and onboard artificial intelligence products and services for space systems.
It follows on from investment of more than £1m from Capital for Colleagues and Scottish Enterprise earlier in the year.
The Responsive Operations for Key Services (ROKS) pathfinder mission aims to demonstrate technologies for future secure telecommunication systems using quantum communications. The goal of the current phase will be to produce a payload ready for launch and demonstration in 2022/23.
The ROKS mission moves forward the capabilities of the UK to respond to quantum computing threats using small and responsive Cube Satellites, able to facilitate and maintain the integrity of communication networks.
Over the last 12 months, Craft Prospect has created 10 highly skilled jobs in the space, quantum and artificial intelligence domains, based in the old Fairfield shipyards in Govan, as well as creating optical development and testing cleanroom facilities.
Managing director Steve Greenland stated: “Securing such significant follow-on funding from the UK Space Agency, shows the quality of the cutting edge work already delivered by the team and the return from our investment in growing our capability and facilities over the last five years.
“With existing strong research links into the University of Strathclyde, we can see a pipeline of opportunities to collaborate on industrialising and deploying these emerging technologies in space, and now have the financial backing required to deliver further high value demonstrations.”
Dr Poonam Malik, head of investments at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde has a strong tradition of investing in innovative companies, and quantum technologies and space are key priority research strength areas at the university.
“We look forward to supporting Craft Prospect on future growth, alongside Capital for Colleagues and Scottish Enterprise and our University academic teams collaborating with Craft on further research and innovation projects.”
Colin Baldwin, head of local growth at the UK Space Agency, added: “Scottish space companies like Craft Prospect are playing a vital role in the UK’s thriving space sector.
“This project will improve our ability to respond to threats to important communications and encryption systems, and it’s a great example of how innovative space technologies can be used to help solve challenges here on Earth.”
The Scottish space sector comprises 133 organisations with 83 headquartered in Scotland, employing just over 8,000 people.