Space Forge awarded £7.9M from the UK Space Agency’s Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund

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Insider Brief:

  • Cardiff’s Space Forge secures nearly £8 million from the UK Space Agency’s Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund.
  • The funding supports the establishment of a £13 million National Microgravity Research Centre for in-space manufacturing.
  • The center aims to advance compound semiconductor research, offering unique advantages in microgravity for electronics with potential 20,000x lifetime extensions.

Space Forge, a Cardiff-based company, has secured £7.9 million from the UK Space Agency’s Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to establish a groundbreaking National Microgravity Research Centre, with a total project value of £13 million through matching contributions.

This initiative aims to drive advanced material research and production, focusing on inorganic crystal structures grown in microgravity conditions for use in electronics, as reported by Compound Semiconductor. The compound semiconductor industry stands to benefit significantly from in-space manufacturing, leveraging microgravity and vacuum conditions to create semiconductors with superior performance and reduced defects compared to those produced on Earth. 

The project, which envisions 20,000x lifetime extensions for electronics manufactured in microgravity, will involve developing semiconductor growth tools and post-processing capabilities. 

Beyond research and development, the center will serve as a hub for the Welsh space sector, offering open access and support for space companies and providing access to state-of-the-art facilities for advancing space tech research and development efforts.

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