New deal with Singapore to support investment and trade

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Singapore Space and Technology Limited signing agreement on 9 February 2022 to mutually support investment and trade between the two nations.

Two research and innovation leaders in the UK and Singapore have joined forces in a deal to mutually support investment and trade between the two nations.

The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Singapore Space and Technology Limited signed the agreement today.

It outlines the ways in which the two organisations will work together to support Singapore and UK-based space tech start-ups for commercial development and help them reach international markets.

Thriving space tech economies

Singapore Space and Technology Limited is the leading space organisation in Southeast Asia, committed to fostering partnerships to grow the regional space ecosystem.

The collaboration between the two organisations aims to accelerate the growth of space tech start-ups by providing them with the tools and access they need to thrive.

What is included in the agreement?

The agreement includes:

  • space tech start-ups from the UK and Singapore will be introduced to potential international investors and market experts across Asia Pacific and the UK
  • UK-based space tech start-ups to be considered for Singapore Space and Technology Limited’s Space Accelerator Programme
  • Singapore-based space tech start-ups will have access to the UK space market, through STFC, including potential users in UK for testing of products and services
  • STFC will also facilitate access to UK test facilities and national laboratories
  • start-ups from both countries will be encouraged to create partnerships where it would be mutually beneficial for innovation
  • research collaborations between UK-based and Singapore-based universities will be developed for knowledge transfer and capability building.

STFC manages and co-funds the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centre (BIC) UK, with partners UK Space Agency and ESA Space Solutions.

ESA BIC UK businesses will also benefit from collaboration through this new agreement, and be supported to access investment and markets across Asia Pacific.

A history of innovation

This agreement builds upon several years of science and innovation collaborations between STFC and Singaporean organisations, including the £10 million jointly funded Speqtre mission, scheduled for launch in 2024.

Led by STFC’s RAL Space in the UK and SpeQtral in Singapore, this research programme is building and deploying a satellite quantum key distribution test bed.

The collaboration aims to build on both countries’ efforts to grow the space and quantum technologies sectors by staking a claim in the emerging quantum key distribution market.

Business engagement programme

Another recent success in UK-Singapore relationships is the business engagement programme in 2020 led by:

  • STFC
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • UK Space Agency.

These partners partly funded and brought over 15 space organisations to Singapore for a week-long programme of activities including attendance at the Global Space and Technology Convention 2020.

Signed agreement

The agreement was signed at this year’s convention, by:

  • STFC RAL Space’s Head of Business Development for Space, Robert Elliott
  • Singapore Space Technology Ltd CEO, Lynette Tan
  • witnessed by British High Commissioner to Singapore, Kara Owen.

Supporting our space tech start-ups

STFC Executive Director for Business and Innovation, Paul Vernon, said:

The space sector is one of the most innovative and rapidly growing space economies in the world. However, for any start-up business, using space technologies to create new and profitable products or services can be a daunting challenge.

Successful start-ups are an essential part of our future prosperity, and STFC has a clear commitment to provide the best environment possible for them to innovate and grow. Collaboration is a key factor when it comes to empowering businesses to overcome their challenges and succeed.

I look forward to working in partnership with Singapore Space and Technology Limited as we work together to mutually support our space tech start-ups in their mission to flourish and compete successfully in global markets.

Solutions to help our planet

HE Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore, said:

There is a deep-rooted but future-focused legacy of science and innovation collaborations between the UK and Singapore. This latest partnership connects our expertise in space technologies and solutions.

The potential is huge, not just for our countries but for identifying solutions to help our planet. It will mean that great ideas on space don’t just stay in the lab.

Strategic partnership

Lynette Tan said:

The opportunities in the space sector are very promising and need committed support to achieve their potential.

This strategic partnership with STFC is a sign of our commitment to provide innovative space solutions with the right partners and platform to thrive.

Top image:  Credit: STFC, Singapore Space and Technology Limited

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