Innovation Exchange Challenge: Installation of Insert Fixtures on Spacecraft

Airbus is seeking innovative partners to revolutionise the installation of insert fixings on satellites.

Opportunity Details


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The Innovation Exchange programme has partnered with Airbus to identify forward-thinking innovators who can replace the manual process of installing inserts on satellites with a fully automated solution. Specialised fixings (inserts) are critical for attaching equipment to satellites. Achieving precise, efficient, and high-quality securely fixed installation is crucial due to the challenging operating environment and the substantial number of inserts involved.

Current processes are effective but inefficient, Airbus aims to achieve cost and schedule reductions by introducing significant automation to their insert fixing capabilities. The main challenges lie in installation accuracy and adhesive processing reliability. This challenge aims to find the right partner to facilitate the adoption of fully automated potting and advance fundamental technologies such as pick-and-place end effectors, vision systems, and adhesive metering and dispensing.

For details of the technical and functional requirements, and for more information on the challenge, visit the Innovation Exchange site.


This competition is open to:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs, individual entrepreneurs, or academia.
  • UK-based or have the intention to set up a UK base.

Your solution should:

  • Deployable on a pilot/test basis within 6 months
  • Deployable as part of a structured roll out plan over 1.5 years

Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to pitch their solution to Airbus and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Entry into the thriving space sector
  • Technical support from Airbus for testing and solution development
  • Support from Innovate UK KTN and the broader Innovate UK ecosystem
  • Assistance in developing a prototype or pilot
  • Invitations to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN or partner events
  • Potential for business collaborations
  • Introductions to investors (if investment is needed)
  • Support for relevant innovation or similar competitions

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