In an effort to support the growth of interest in space travel at home, the UK Space Agency is offering prizes of up to £50,000, to anyone that can produce a piece of creative work related to micro-gravity and space flight most notably, video games. However it can also relate to visual art, as well as other forms of creative technology and “immersive media.”
While the parameters for eligible projects are deliberately vague to make it possible for many different kinds of projects to be pitched, the space agency did give some examples of previously “effective work,” that if built today would have a chance of winning. Elizabeth Price’s SUNLIGHT exhibit was one, as well as Helen White’s Solar Wind Chime, which uses data from solar winds to vibrate a traditional looking wind chime.
Although there is an educational emphasis on this competition, it’s more focused on generating interest. In-fact, the UKSA specifically asks for no projects that are explicitly educational. It also doesn’t want anything speculative or based on science fiction, or anything that is linked to the upcoming Tim Peake mission to the ISS. Instead it wants projects based around astrobiology, materials science and biomedicine in zero gravity. Parabolic flights, drop towers, Antarctic stations, the ISS and many more topics are also up for grabs.
Projects that fit into those sorts of categories will be judged on their ability to reach new and sizeable audiences, what sort of impact they deliver, how feasible the final project would be, and if it could be funded by the potential prize money.
The scheme is open to anyone who is based in the UK and works with an organisation that would be eligible to receive the funds, such as a university, school, charity trust or company. Proposals must be pitched to the UKSA by the 24th July, via the application form which can be downloaded here.
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KitGuru Says: Obviously don’t go pitching multi-million pound video game developments, but if you have an idea for a small scale space sim of some sort, this might be worth looking into.