Best of UK Space sector on major mission for growth

The Space Mission 2015, will take place from 8th – 14th August. It will see the companies attend the Small Satellite Conference in Utah, before travelling to California to meet with industry leading companies and investors, including teams from NASA, Virgin Galactic and Lockheed Martin.

The nine companies each applied and went through a competitive application process for the funding to attend the Mission. It will feature some of the most exciting British companies in the space industry, from small start-ups to established market leaders. The nine companies are:

  • Arralis Technologies, a firm that supplies world leading, ultra-fast, radar technology (Belfast) 
  • Bird.i, a startup that is socialising earth observation and satellite data (London)
  • Bright Ascension, a provider of software solutions for satellites, that save time and money (Dundee)
  • Gyana, a startup that uses advanced mathematics and machine learning to harness big data for use in everyday life (Oxford)
  • Mars Space Ltd, a company that provides services and consultancy on space propulsion, plasma engineering and science (Southampton)
  • Oxford Space Systems, a company which is set on becoming the leading supplier of deployable space structures globally (Harwell Oxford)
  • Printech Circuit Laboratories, a company that for over 20 years has manufactured a range of circuitry for the space industry (Essex)
  • PocketQube Shop, a one-stop-shop for custom satellites that cost less than a family car (Glasgow)
  • Scot Sat, a provider of ultra-high speed mobile satellite communications at a fraction of the cost (Edinburgh)

Cost is often a major factor in determining the viability of space projects; all of the companies on the Mission have developed unique business models and approaches which dramatically lowers the cost of space technology, research and analysis.

The Mission is designed to enable increased collaboration between the United States and the UK within the space sector. Historically, although both countries have deep rooted connections with space, the United States’ private space sector has expanded much more rapidly over the last twenty years. This affords an excellent opportunity for UK companies to build connections with industry leaders and learn from their experiences, as well as seek new customers and investment. Helping British companies grow is a key objective of the UK government, as the 2010 Space Innovation and Growth Strategy demonstrates. The 2010 strategy set a target to grow the UK’s share of the world’s space economy from 6.5% to 10% by 2030. By today’s estimates this would lead to a UK sector with £40 billion per annum of space-enabled turnover and the creation of 100,000 new jobs.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science said: “The Space sector is one of Britain’s great success stories.  This mission will help the brightest and best of British firms showcase their innovate products and expand into new markets, creating new jobs for Britain and boosting productivity.”

Throughout the Mission the companies will be supported by Innovate UK and UKTI space experts who will be on hand to assist the companies and ensure they maximise their opportunities. The experts also have considerable contacts within the space industry and will help to make introductions with prominent US business contacts.

Tim Just, Head of Space at Innovate UK said: “The Space Mission 2015 demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to supporting and growing the British space industry. All of these burgeoning firms are at the forefront of the new space race and have genuinely built innovative solutions to some of the sector’s greatest challenges.

“We are proud to support these companies as they lay the foundation for future British economic growth.”