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Covid-19: space sector, business support, and sanitisation tech

Guidance for business and space sector, and call for new tech to sanitise ambulances quickly

The UK Space Agency and Innovate UK are taking steps to minimise disruption from the coronavirus pandemic on business.

In a joint statement published on 25 March, the government agency and the trade association UKspace said they had agreed to maintain an “effective flow of information between the space sector and government during the Covid-19 crisis” and had established teams to direct companies towards the support available from government.

They added that they would work to identify further actions they could take to minimise the disruption caused by the pandemic as well as “broaden the engagement with space businesses beyond members of UKspace”.

In a message to award holders on 24 March, the innovation agency Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, said it was aware of the “potential impact on supply chains, business continuity and cashflow”.

The funder reassured businesses that its business continuity measures were in place and that it was continuing to operate. It urged award recipients to contact their Innovate UK monitoring officer, who “will keep us informed and allow us to assess if we can offer support too”.

Meanwhile, Innovate UK and the Defence and Security Accelerator, part of the Ministry of Defence, have launched a call for technology to keep ambulances clean during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Dasa, it currently takes up to 45 minutes to clean ambulances once they have transported a patient with suspected Covid-19.

It is now asking industry to identify “rapid sanitising technology solutions” that can be demonstrated in a live trial on an ambulance. The deadline is 1 April.