The Radio Communications Foundation uses its income to provide financial support to further its aims and objectives.

Wireless technology is fundamental to the success of digital Britain.

Government policy aims to give fast internet access to every home in the UK.

This is dependent on having the necessary skills in place to take full advantage of the technology to hand.

Government and industry are concerned that whilst technology marches ahead there is a real shortage in the skills base.

The country needs radio and electrical engineers and through its work the Foundation is actively promoting this career path to young people.

The interested young person of today is the radio amateur of tomorrow and the engineer of the future.

In line with its strategic vision of supporting young people in radio and promoting the advancement of technology, the following are all examples of where the Foundation has given direct financial backing:

  • Equipment, publicity and running costs for educational outreach activities
  • The FUNcube amateur satellite project
  • Bursaries to support young people with university or college fees and operated with universities offering courses in radio communications
  • Special projects with radio amateur clubs where the emphasis in on young people and/or technology

The Foundation can only disburse funds if it has the reserves to do so.

Hence, the continual need to seek income from donations and legacies. Any bids for funds will be assessed by the Trustees against the aims and objectives of the Foundation and its strategy.

Bids can be made at any time.

There is bound to be competition for funding and some applications may be rejected.

The Trustees normally meet twice a year and consider requests during meetings but any more urgent business can be conducted electronically if necessary.

Funds disbursed by the Foundation should be treated as grants and there will be a strict requirement on applicants to confirm that any funding agreed is applied in accordance with the original proposal.

Naturally, successful bidders will be required to arrange proper recognition of the role of the Foundation in any publicity associated with the project.

A framework form is attached to give guidance to any would be applicants.

In 2007 the Foundation received a legacy that was designated for the use of AMSAT-UK and contributed to the funding of  the AMSAT-UK educational amateur satellite project—FUNcube.

FUNcube is an educational single CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics.

The target audience consists of primary and secondary school pupils and FUNcube features a 145 MHz telemetry beacon that provides a strong signal for the pupils to receive.

A receiver, the FUNcube Dongle, has been developed that plugs into the USB port of a laptop to display telemetry and messages in an interesting way.

The satellite contains a materials science experiment, from which the school students can receive telemetry data which they can compare to the results they obtained from similar reference experiments in the classroom.

The Foundation continues to support AMSAT-UK and is actively looking at other opportunities to work together.