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An astronaut drifting above the Earth

The Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed on 21 March 2019 at the Oxford Innovation Society dinner on Space and Satellites by Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford, and Dr Nick Appleyard, Director for Business Applications at the European Space Agency.

Dr Simon Jackman of the Industrial Research Partnerships team said: ‘This Letter of Intent gives University researchers an opportunity to collaborate more closely with the European Space Agency across a wide range of topic areas from artificial intelligence to extra-terrestrial geology.

‘We will be running joint events and hosting interchange of staff as well as developing new projects together. Researchers from Physics, Engineering Science, Computer Science, Statistics and Materials will benefit from these opportunities along with others from Social Sciences and Medical Sciences Divisions.’

Topics for potential partnership include Artificial Intelligence for Space Applications, Astrophysics, Space Instrumentation, Photonics and Telecommunications for Space. Other themes include Astronaut Health, Extra-terrestrial Geology, Novel Materials for Spacecraft and Quantum Computing.

The range of topics reflects the exciting growth of the space sector and its transformation by new technologies in which Oxford is at the forefront, including Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. The partnership is led from the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division within the University, drawing upon skills across a wide range of departments, including those in Medical Sciences.