In order to help bring their RASOR (Real-time Accessible Space Operational Reel) concept to life and expand their customer reach, Spacetime Development needed funding to assist with technical and proof of concept works.
A suite of support options was delivered, from mentoring and bespoke webinars, to guiding Spacetime through the innovation funding process, leading to two successful grant applications.
Spacetime Development is an independent consultancy that supports high-tech sectors with an emphasis on the space and satellite industry – focussing on connecting space to people, ideas and businesses. It achieves this in four main areas: business development, event planning, user experience and engineering support. Managing Director, Stephen Ringler has a background in aerospace engineering having previously worked for NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Stephen explains: “We have a small engineering group that provides support for businesses from the UK, including electrical engineering. We’ve also opened a recording studio with filming and editing capabilities to provide video production for user experiences. This also includes the strategy surrounding digital and advice on its benefits.”
Stephen’s connection with OxLEP started a few years ago. “When I moved to the UK from America, I took up the role of Space Cluster Development Manager and I was OxLEP’s Network Navigator for space across Oxfordshire, a project that was developed through OxLEP. So I actually started on the other side – helping signpost people and companies to the Innovation Support for Business Programme (ISfB). I’m a big advocate of OxLEP and I know how valuable they are because I’ve been part of that process.”
Spacetime Development received a Go-Create grant, through the ISfB Programme, for the development of a quasi-real-time space imagery data feed, aka ‘RASOR’. Stephen explains “The project was centred around developing the first-ever streaming and education platforms for space. The team at OxLEP assisted us with some initial concept design and proof of concept work. I also attended one-to-one mentoring sessions and webinars through the ISfB programme which were beneficial too.”
He continues: “I’ve worked with OxLEP’s coaches over the last two years, and they have always been really helpful. They reviewed our proposals to ensure we were eligible and that we were applying for the correct one to suit our needs. Then once we were signposted to ISfB they supported us through the grant application process.”
Managing Director, Stephen Ringler, explains the company, what led them to search for funding opportunities and how OxLEP Business provided crucial support.
The benefits from the grant funding have enabled Spacetime to improve their process and products.
“The funding from the grant was extremely helpful because it augmented our process. We worked closely with the European Space Agency on this project and it helped to augment some of the support we received from them too, resulting in the creation of a better product and proof of concept.”
As well as the ISfB support, Spacetime are also now engaging with another of OxLEP’s support programmes, eScalate. They have successfully received funding to help deliver the RASOR project, from proof of concept to working on a demonstrator and delivering a successful product, and were also able to hire additional staff as a result of the grant.
“The pandemic hit us pretty hard but I’m feeling optimistic about our future prospects. The Government has been incredibly supportive at a national and local level, and through organisations like OxLEP Business. I think the UK is poised to bounce back. I never planned to start businesses in the UK, but a large part of the reason I did was that I was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit in Oxfordshire and that flame continues to be fanned by OxLEP.”
“I hope they continue offering their excellent support in continuing to make this place the entrepreneurial hotspot it’s become.”