UK SMEs targeted for global space market
The UK’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) has said that SMEs will be vital for its long-term plan to increase its share of the global space market.
In its UK Space Innovation and Growth Strategy 2015, the IGS announced that it is on track to increase its share of the market from 6% in 2009 to 10% by 2030. This share will generate £40 billion in revenue from the sector and now SMEs are being targeted for investment.
UKspace chairman from 2013 to 2014 and representative of its SME forum, Matt Perkins, stated that the UK had few large players in the space market, and that the country needed more players to be able to achieve its set targets. This has prompted the association to target tech start-ups within the space sector and beyond.
Recently, the UK Space Agency awarded £50,000 to a Durham-based business group to establish a space technology incubator. Business Durham is responsible for the incubator, which is situated in the North East Technology Park.
Business Durham Managing Director, Simon Goon, said that the incubator has been successful in nurturing 30 space-related start-ups. Goon explained that all 30 companies were not traditional space companies; some were general technology companies whose technical expertise could be used in the space industry.
Oxfordshire is also showing growth in the space industry. Oxford Space Systems, a space technology business, has been successful in attracting investors. The company launched at the beginning of 2014 after Innovate UK awarded it an investment of £150,000. Now, the company has managed to acquire funding of £500,000 through Longwall Ventures, which is a venture capital firm.
The UK space sector is poised for major growth, and with the technical capabilities, support from the government, and the growth rate that the sector is witnessing, experts believe it will create a successful environment for UK SMEs in this sector to flourish and thrive.