Three start-ups received funding for space projects

28.11.2013 08:30

Start-ups can receive financial support not only from CTI and the EU research programme. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI has funded 12 projects aiming to develop ground-breaking technologies with various applications in the space sector. The start-ups Saphyrion, Micos Engineering and Almatech are involved in three of them.

As a founding member of the European Space Agency ESA, Switzerland participates actively and successfully in space programmes via its research institutes and businesses. Unlike most other countries active in the space industry, Switzerland does not have a national programme in which it can consolidate its skills outside of the ESA’s activities. The complementary national activities set up by SERI allow Swiss scientists to position themselves more profitably on the global stage, both in the ESA programmes and beyond.

In 2010 an initial Call for Proposals – To foster and promote Swiss scientific and technological competences related to space activities was organised in close collaboration with the Swiss Space Center. Following the success of the funded projects and the excellent echo from the space community, a second programme was launched last year. 12 proposals were chosen. The funded projects run for 12 months and their results will be presented during the first four months of 2014.

Funding was awarded to projects displaying a high degree of excellence and innovation and which allow the participants to take their first decisive steps in ground-breaking technologies with various applications in the space sector. The projects funded meet a strategic need to exploit research & development potential at a national level, and put Swiss scientists in a stronger position with regard to those competitors who receive considerable state support in preparation for contests run by European institutions, or who receive support in assessing technological ideas which can be applied in space missions.

Start-ups are involved in three of the twelve projects:

NARET Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Phase Locked Loop for Space Applications
Development of radiation-hardened integrated circuit for frequency generation for use in telecommunications, navigation and earth observation satellites.
Project Partners : Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (ISEA, Institute for Systems and Applied Electronics) & Saphyrion Sagl.

Nano Antennas for Optical Micro Instruments
Study into materials and development of components for uncoupling optical signals from glass fibres and wave guides.
Project Partners: EMPA (Group Micro-Nano-technology), EPFL (OPT, Optics & Photonics Technology Lab – Neuchatel) & Micos Engineering GmbH

Development of a high-rel low acting actuator for space applications
Development of an actuator based on a shape memory alloy.
Project Partners: Fachhochschule Westschweiz-Wallis (ISI, Institut de Systemes Industriels) & Almatech, Djeva SA.

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