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Edinburgh Set to Become a Home for Space Tech Startups

Theo Priestley


UK Space Sector

European Space Agency is expanding its incubation centres across the UK and Edinburgh is on the map to help accelerate space tech startups.

Its been a busy month for Scotland and the space tech industry. Hot on the heels of the announcements that a space port is to be built on the A’Mhoine Peninsula, and that Glasgow is the home to the UK’s first asteroid mining venture – the European Space Agency has revealed that their Business Incubation Centre programme is set to expand across the UK and will also be located in the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.

The programme, which is managed by the UK government-funded Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), supports scientific research across the UK and wants to create a UK-wide European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre, enabling start-ups who are using space and satellite technologies to develop new products to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly fierce market place.

Supporting the Scottish Space Industry

Scotland is becoming a booming space tech hub recent analysis has shown.

Commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is, according to the government, worth a potential £3.8 billion to the economy over the next decade. In Scotland, the opening of the Sutherland spaceport has the potential to create up to 400 jobs and cement Scotland’s place in a world-changing industry.

The country is already home to a thriving space sector in which a number of pioneering companies, such as Clyde Space; which is manufacturing some of the most innovative satellites anywhere on earth.

Earlier this year, figures revealed that Glasgow is building more satellites than any other European city.

Speaking to SciTech Europa, STFC’s Dr Sue O’Hare, Operations Manager at the ESA BIC UK, said “In recent years in the UK we have certainly seen a surge in interest in space from investors, because they used to think (and perhaps rightly so) that space was very niche, very high risk and long term; but now they are realising that maybe it is indeed the next big tech sector.

“There has been a space incubator in Daresbury for the last couple of years through the UK Space Agency, and so there is the beginning of a small space cluster there already. And, of course, Edinburgh is central to the Scottish space cluster, so there is already momentum building there, too.”

Theo Priestley

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