Ten space-related innovation projects have been selected from a field of nearly 70 to receive a comprehensive package of incubation support worth more than £12,000 each over the next six months.

The aim of the OI Space Incubator programme, supported by the UK Space Agency, is to turn ideas quickly into a commercial offering within the fields of satellite communications, navigation and earth observation.

Eighteen shortlisted projects wanting to get on the new programme were stress-tested over two days at Fareham Innovation Centre

Workshop challenges included technology feasibility, commercial viability and market-positioning tests to help cohort hopefuls pitch their projects to 20 judges from partner organisations.

High-profile mentors included Adrian Braine, a business innovation leader in connectivity from SETsquared, Tim Doidge, who has helped hundreds of start-ups pitch more effectively to investors at major showcases, and Vincenzo Roberti, a serial entrepreneur who has created and built technology companies and brands.

More than 100 participants and guests rounded off the event with a gala dinner and presentations at The Bridge, the new high-tech conference centre at Fareham Innovation Centre.

Richard May, the OI Space Incubator programme manager, said afterwards: "The two days have been a fantastic success; we are confident that the selected 10 projects have the potential to be next-generation businesses in Great Britain’s multi-billion pound space industry."

"The programme helps us grow a space sector cluster in both Fareham and Bordon alongside the aviation, marine, logistics, agri-tech, big-data, smart city and gaming businesses we already support in Hampshire.

"They will receive free workspace, two interns, 24 purpose-design incubation and business acumen workshops, expert R&D advice and test facilities from prime partners and match-making with non-executive directors and investors."

Keynote speaker Richard Peckham provided a general overview of the UK space industry; a great context to the space incubator.

Richard, former chairman of UKspace, the space trade association, is also co-chair of the Satellite Finance Network (SFN) which was set up to connect investors with space entrepreneurs.

The UK space sector is growing, worth £13.7 billion to the economy and employing more than 38,000 people across the country.

Eleven interns from the University of Southampton will work for 10 weeks during the summer to give the incubator cohort initial technical expertise and a resource boost to design and develop solution prototypes.

The top 10 projects;

Stephen Smith of Chemical Design - navigation - an app to track the speed and position of skydivers so data can be shared on social media.

Sebastian Holmes of Agritherm - satellite communications/navigation/Earth observation - response to Ordnance Survey challenge - using satellite communications, navigation and earth observation to predict lameness in dairy cows.

Russ Cole of ESL Group - satellite communications/navigation/Earth observation - response to Ordnance Survey challenge - using drones and Ordnance Survey geo data for crisis management situations, with secure data transmitted to Internet of Things-connected devices for evaluation and action.

Matthew Fancourt and Zach Ross-Clyne of KOIOS Master Data - general innovation - an app for field engineers involved in maintenance operations, such as at factories, so they can capture data to better guide on servicing and replacement parts; avoids costs and delays caused by incorrect spares ordering.

Michael Castle of Pinpoint Satellite Navigation - navigation - response to Ordnance Survey challenge - development of farm robots to apply correct volume of fertilisers, reducing costly wastage and pollution.

Gareth Evans of Constructex – navigation - response to Ordnance Survey challenge – adopting Android devices with software for precise remote surveys by drones and remote operated vehicles.

Stephen Crawford of CB Media Group - satellite communications/navigation/other - response to Ordnance Survey challenge – utilising satellite technology to develop an app where yacht crews across the world can tag themselves, with social messaging applications.

Paul Dawson of Psion Consulting - satellite communications/navigation/other – GPS-enabled smart eyewear to allow hands-free inspection of complex engineering structures in challenging environments. Would allow users to identify, locate, analyse and record the condition of assets.

Andrew Burrows of Aerohydro Consulting - navigation/other - CloudBox is a connected flight recorder which combines GPS and magnetometer data to create a ‘black box’ that automatically captures and logs all flights, engine and aircraft configuration data. The data is uploaded for online post-flight diagnostics to improve aircraft and pilot safety.

Alex Barter of Barter For Things - general innovation - using an Internet of Things network commissioned by Southampton City Council, collecting pothole data from fleet vehicles. They are fitted with shock/global navigation satellite system devices which transmit location data. The project focuses on machine-learning techniques to increase accuracy of pothole detection.