Rolls-Royce today announced it has secured funding from Phase 2 of the UK Space Agency’s International Bilateral Fund (IBF).

The funding enables strategic research partnerships within the UK space sector and emerging space nations to work together.

The new £1.18 million award from the Fund backs collaboration to identify and advance the optimum technologies for a fission nuclear system, benefitting both UK and U.S. space nuclear development programmes for a range of space power missions.

“Rolls-Royce is collaborating with U.S. firm BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC (BWXT) to deliver this phase of development, which has been cemented in a Teaming Agreement between the two companies. The agreement facilitates business collaboration and joint developments of new and novel nuclear applications in the space domain, which utilise the core nuclear design and manufacturing strengths of each party. This agreement further strengthens UK and U.S. collaboration on first-of-a-kind space technology innovation, as detailed under the Atlantic Declaration commitment.”

Steve Carlier, President for Rolls-Royce Submarines Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to win the award for the second phase of the International Bilateral Fund and to be continuing our collaboration with the UK Space Agency and our international project partner BWXT. The Teaming Agreement between Rolls-Royce and BWXT brings together over 130 years of safe and secure nuclear delivery on both sides of the Atlantic.

This new agreement builds on our complimentary core competencies and market knowledge from our respective countries. This enables us to build upon our existing relationship and explore potential strategic relationships and business arrangements to further develop nuclear technologies and products for Space.”

Joe Miller, president of BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC, said:

“BWXT and Rolls-Royce share a commitment to creating and delivering nuclear energy systems to explore space, support global security imperatives and generate clean energy. Today’s announcement, and our teaming agreement more broadly, allows our companies to use our complementary areas of expertise for this award and new opportunities to come.”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

terence patrick hewett
terence patrick hewett (@guest_808857)
28 days ago

The UK Space Agency talks a good game. Funding for this research: funding for that analysis. But when push comes to shove…..they never seem to actually do anything at all. Elon Musk may be a bit odd sometimes, but at least he does stuff.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_808885)
28 days ago

Apart from being a world leader in small satellites. 👍

Spyinthesky (@guest_809625)
26 days ago

Best to do some research before making sorry, but what is an ill informed comment. This Country produces far more and profits far more per buck in space investment than the US, despite its underfunded state. Just witnessed an interview with the head of the UK Space Agency, he comes across as very savvy and focused upon what that Agency can spend and what best to spend it upon. It has been very supportive of UK launch facilities for example and of course SaxaVord will soon host the first launch from European soil. Indeed if other UK sectors were as… Read more »

terence patrick hewett
terence patrick hewett (@guest_809627)
26 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

My comment referred to the efficacy of The UK Space Agency, not the achievements of the UK Space Sector, which is a very different thing.

RB (@guest_808968)
28 days ago

£1.18 million is diddly squat in a field where budgets are often in the billions. After overheads and facility costs, it will cover the salaries of about 5 engineers for a year.

Jack (@guest_808991)
28 days ago
Reply to  RB

Buys a lot of toilet paper and coffee

Spyinthesky (@guest_809658)
25 days ago
Reply to  RB

Well RR seem to have been doing rather well using their own resources and that of previous grants to become one of the World leaders in modular mini reactors, so I’m sure they will manage. Licensing for an up and fully functioning prototype is a greater issue that’s typically British unfortunately, I don’t know if there is progress on that as yet. However this technology has enormous potential if Space X is actually going to get anywhere near delivering on its promises. Indeed it seems a lot more likely highly profitable as compared to Spsce Xs non Starlink launch business… Read more »