Starburst announces 15 finalists to pitch ideas to U.S. and U.K. defense agencies

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SAN FRANCISCO — Starburst Aerospace announced 14 startups and one consortium invited to share proposals for addressing important space-related challenges facing the United States and the United Kingdom at International Space Pitch Day, an event to be held in November at the virtual Defence Space Conference 2020.

“This selection offers the 15 startups the opportunity to pitch for funding at International Space Pitch Day,” Van Espahbodi, Starburt Accelerator co-founder, told SpaceNews by email. “This includes opportunities to open the door for contracts from the Ministry of Defence and Royal Air Force as well as non US/UK agencies.”

During International Space Pitch Day, the participating agencies will be ready to award contracts immediately to the companies.

“We have funding available to make up to 15 awards,” Jake Singleton, an exchange officer from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and international liaison for the U.S. Air Force AFWERX Program, said at SpaceCom 2020. “We want to hear the pitch. If you hit the center of the target, we can sign a contract.”

Starburst named the U.S. and U.K. companies that will be part of the first Allied Defence Accelerator at Oct. 27 at SpaceCom 2020. Plans for the Allied Defence Accelerator were developed by the U.S. Air Force, U.K. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, and the U.K. Defence and Security Accelerator. Additional Allied Defence Accelerator partners include Starburst, the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center, the U.K. Ministry of Defense, U.S. Strategic Command, the Royal Air Force, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

“A key objective of International Space Pitch Day is to work with small and medium-sized enterprises and startups in emerging industries,” RAF Air Commodore JD Ball said during SpaceCom 2020. “Without the involvement of these entities, it will be far more difficult to attain technological supremacy and therefore deliver operational advantage.”

The Australian, Canadian, Indian, U.K. and U.S. companies and projects selected are:

  • Riskaware Ltd. and Telespazio Vega UK for a project called SpaceAware Resilience;
  • Spire Global UK for a project called Space Weather as a Service;
  • Slingshot Aerospace for a project called Slingshot Orbital Ensemble Catalogue;
  • 114 AI Innovation of India for a project called Spacewise;
  • Consortium of L3Harris, Northern Space and Security Ltd. and Intelligence Fusion U.K. for a project called Space Domain Awareness Blockchain Platform;
  • Rocket Communications for a project called Space: ACME – 4D Visualization Solution for Space Awareness, Communication, and Manoeuvre Evaluation;
  • Cognitive Space for a project called Multi-Level Security through Partitioned Blockchain;
  • Swim.ai for a project called Real-Time Orbital Situational Awareness Platform;
  • SQR Systems for a project called Secure collaboration platform across classification levels;
  • precursor spc for a project called 4D Space Weather Impact Tool;
  • KISPE Space Systems Ltd. for a project called Interactive App Prototype for a Decisional Space Domain Awareness Tool;
  • NorthStar Earth & Space of Canada for a project called Space Domain Awareness Warfighter Training Simulator;
  • Zoic Labs for a project called ZyncMatrix; and
  • Clutch Space Systems Ltd. for a project called Space Resources Operational Availability Tool;
  • Clearbox Systems Pty Ltd of Australia for a project called AI-enabled decision support for satellite service selection.