UF and partners launch Space-Edge Accelerator to promote space business development

The University of Florida is working with several universities to launch a new space-focused business accelerator. The Space-Edge Accelerator will pair entrepreneurial students with industry and academic leaders in the space industry.

The first classes in this accelerator program will focus on biomedical science, and prospective students can apply beginning Aug. 8. The accelerator will be a 12-week hybrid program covering key areas of biomedical innovation – from tissue culture to drug formation – that can benefit from a space environment or advance human space flight.

Space-Edge is designed to open new markets in a global space economy projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2040. The accelerator is specifically created for people working outside the space sector who want to enter that market and gain a competitive advantage.

“The University of Florida has extensive experience in the field of space sciences, and this program will help other companies and researchers build connections with UF researchers to expand their space research and development portfolios,” said Jamie Foster, professor of microbiology and cell science at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and UF’s lead researcher for the accelerator. “This is an exciting time to be involved in space-based research because of the impact it will have here on Earth, in orbit and beyond.”

UF is partnering with Arizona State University, the University of Central Florida, Space Foundation and Vanderbilt University on the project. Applicants will be able to apply through any of the participating universities.

Some of the focus areas for the accelerator include stem cell development and production, vaccine development and testing, innovative drug delivery systems and advances in precision medicine, improvements in drug design, manufacturing, storage and efficacy, tissue development – including 3D bioprinting – creating medical supplies and equipment for microgravity, medical devices and diagnostics, AI and predictive analysis and telehealth in space.

“The Space-Edge Accelerator program will provide companies guidance and mentorship on how to expand their space portfolio and test their products or technologies in the low-Earth-orbit environment,” Foster said.

For more information and updates on how to apply through the University of Florida, visit space-edge.org.


The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.

ifas.ufl.edu  |  @UF_IFAS


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Posted: May 22, 2024

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Research

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