- Laurence Russell
UK space industry gathers ahead of Satellite Applications Catapult facility launch
Leaders from the UK Space industry gathered at the Westcott Space Cluster Expo last week to celebrate the exciting innovations within the Westcott Space Cluster.
The event also incorporated specialised tours of the state-of-the-art testing sites at Westcott, including many of the new Satellite Applications Catapult facilities opening later this year.
The 2022 Expo began with formal orations from Kathy Bass, Deputy Director of UK Space Strategy for BEIS, Countess Howe, Lord-Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire and Tony Forsythe, Head of Space Technology for the UK Space Agency, followed by presentations from other leaders within the space industry.
The event celebrated the continued growth of the Westcott Space Cluster, whilst showcasing the many innovative companies, products and services on site; including the facilities at Westcott Venture Park, set to lead the UK space sector.
Kath Bass, Deputy Director of UK Space Technology for BEIS, commented that local success and innovation is key for the space sector, stating: “Levelling up and regional growth are an absolutely essential goal of the [UK Space] Strategy, and we are aiming for a national space ecosystem with employment and broad benefits across the UK.”
The specialised technical Expo tours also featured the unique In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing facility, as well as the Living Labs facilities which are all set to open formally later this year.
Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult, said:
“Westcott has a rich heritage of leading space innovation and it’s exciting to bring together likeminded ambitious pioneers from the space industry to celebrate the development of our facilities and the opportunities they unlock.
“Adaptable access to testing facilities will help to spark further industry growth and allow both established companies and space start-ups to bring their technologies to life at a competitive pace. Through our facilities we can enable companies to revolutionise the way we use space.”
Tony Forsythe, Head of Space Technology for the UK Space Agency, commented: “Our reliance on space is changing and growing. In the future space technologies will support greener and smarter ways for people to travel, for people to work, and to bring people together.
“Beyond the missions that will take us to the moon and to mars, we will unite many nations and pave the way for humans to live and work beyond the earth’s orbit.”
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive at Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We were delighted to support the Westcott Space Cluster Expo that showcased pioneering and cutting-edge companies that are rapidly growing across the space and technology sectors, at our Westcott Enterprise Zone.
“Westcott is one of the most exciting innovation assets here in Buckinghamshire. Over the past five years we have helped start and grow the huge potential of the space sector and believe that future collaborations across sectors will continue to build a secure platform for UK innovation and growth. This year’s event demonstrated the crucial role that the unique R&D and testing environment at Westcott is already playing in helping the UK deliver on its National Space Strategy, in attracting significant international investment and helping address major global challenges such as Net Zero, the management of our natural resources and improving global food supply chains.”
Westcott is recognised as an integral part of the UK space sector growth strategy with a nucleus of well-established companies supporting rocket and satellite-enabled research and development projects.