As a funding agency, it is necessary for the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on all our programmes.
We have initially focused on ensuring that UKSA has the necessary staff, capacity and processes in place to continue to offer a service in terms of monitoring projects and funding our programmes; in parallel the International Partnership Programme (IPP) team has engaged with project leads (primes) to fully understand the challenges they are likely to face over coming months (3, 6, >6-month period) and impacts on respective project progress.
Based on these early discussions, UKSA remains committed to the continuation of IPP and collaboration with partner countries during this unprecedented period. As a result, the IPP team is adopting a ‘business as usual’ approach for the next 3 months.
The IPP team is working flexibly with respective project Primes and partners (who have diverted efforts to home-based tasks and virtual meetings) to address any COVID-related issues/delays. All projects are being asked to inform the IPP team as soon as any issues arise to discuss options. This applies to Call 3 projects too, where the IPP team is working closely with Primes to understand any issues with a view to placing grants as soon as possible but accepting there will be delays due to COVID. Due to these delays it is unlikely we will be releasing a public statement in May confirming which Call 3 projects have been placed on grant; however all Call 3 projects who have been selected are already working with IPP, and all unsuccessful Call 3 applicants have been made aware and have received feedback on their proposals.
Additionally, please note that the UK Space Agency is working in partnership with the space sector’s trade body, UKspace, to collect information on how the sector is being affected. If you are encountering any difficulties or require more information, please click here: https://www.ukspace.org/space-sector-covid19-surveys/.
With thanks for your cooperation, and best wishes to you all,