Edinburgh startup Skyrora secures £2.5m co-funding from ESA


Following the investment, the spacetech company intends to create more than 170 high-skilled jobs in the UK

Edinburgh-based spacetech startup Skyrora has secured €3 million (nearly £2.5 million) co-funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) as a part of its ESA’s Boost! program.

Skyrora will use the investment to complete the crucial technology that is required to deliver consistent orbital launches from the UK with Skyrora’s XL launch vehicle. It ensures that the company can complete the development of its rocket technology. With the investment, the spacetech company intends to create more than 170 high-skilled jobs in the UK. It will also be used to complete the technology required to deliver consistent orbital launches from within the UK.

Volodymyr Levykin, founder and CEO of Skyrora, said: This ESA contract will accelerate Skyrora’s progress on its journey to be the first to achieve the UK’s sovereign orbital launch. ESA’s funding will allow us to complete the set up of our larger Engine Test Complex, complete our 70kN engine programme and static fire test fire the first and second stages of Skyrora XL.

Dr. Jack-James Marlow, Head of Engineering for Skyrora, said: ESA’s funding award will enable Skyrora to significantly accelerate the pace at which we can complete the next stages on our technological roadmap and become the first UK company to launch satellites from Europe. We draw huge inspiration from the British engineers who led the way on the Black Arrow programme, and we are thrilled to be advancing their pioneering work at Skyrora for the benefit of the UK.

Amanda Solloway, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, Research and Innovation, said: The UK’s space industry is thriving and we have bold ambitions to be Europe’s leading destination for small satellite launches, developing world class commercial spaceflight capability up and down the country. Today’s funding for two of our most innovative space businesses is not only a step forward for UK spaceflight, but it will also help to create highly skilled jobs and local opportunities as we build back better from the pandemic.

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO, UK Space Agency said: This funding is great news for the UK space sector and will ensure companies such as Skyrora really are at the forefront of the European space industry. This support to our thriving space sector, alongside our flexible regulations and strong international agreements, means the UK is well placed to benefit from the new commercial opportunities UK launch will bring.

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