UK Space Agency backs quantum communications

Organisation awards grant to Glaswegian company

The UK Space Agency has awarded a Glaswegian firm with an £870,000 grant to progress the development of quantum communications technology to be used in space.

Craft Prospect received the support through the agency’s National Space Innovation Programme for its ROKS Mission, coupled with an investment of £300,000 from the University of Strathclyde, a leading university in quantum technologies.

The funding supports the company’s work to provide quantum and onboard artificial intelligence products and services for space systems.

It follows on from a previous investment earlier in the year of over £1m from Scottish Enterprise and  Capital for Colleagues, a fund that advises and invests in employee-owned businesses.

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The UK Space Agency’s Responsive Operations for Key Services (ROKS) pathfinder mission will demonstrate technologies for future secure telecommunication systems using quantum communications and supported by artificial intelligence. The goal of the current phase will be to produce a payload ready for launch and demonstration in 2022/23. In addition to University of Strathclyde, the company will lead a consortium including University of Bristol and Fraunhofer UK.

Craft Prospect managing director Steve Greenland said: “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.”


Sam Trendall

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