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Space cluster celebrates first year

May 1, 2024

It’s been a busy first year for Space South Central, the UK’s largest space cluster, promoting growth and innovation in the thriving space industry across Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.

The region is home to around 170 space-related companies – from start-ups to global heavyweights like Airbus, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin – and more than 70% have engaged with the cluster in some way.

In its first year Space South Central team has helped organisations access more than £50 million of funding/investment opportunities, provided 415 hours of business support and supported 34 collaborative R&D projects.

In April 2023, the South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SCCoE) officially became Space South Central, in partnership with the universities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Surrey, and received a funding boost from the UK Space Agency. Since then, the Space South Central team has:

  • Helped organisations access more than £50 million of funding/investment opportunities
  • Provided 415 hours of business support
  • Supported 34 collaborative R&D projects
  • Built relationships with 15 countries
  • Hosted 37 industry events
  • Engaged more than 70% of regional space organisations
  • Participated in 6 international delegations
  • Referred 43 companies to space-related support programmes

Over the past decade, the UK space industry has been one of the few sectors that has seen continued growth despite wider challenges like the pandemic and economic downturns.

High costs for equipment and facilities can be a barrier to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but Space South Central’s services  – whether individual business support, access to funding opportunities or facilities, industry networking events, or introductions to UK or international contacts – are free and impartial, meaning that organisations of all shapes and sizes can benefit.

Tom Love, Co-Founder of Southampton start-up Trinity Space Technologies, said:

“Space South Central truly understands the unique challenges and opportunities within the space sector and has provided invaluable support in propelling my business forward.”

“Their dedication to helping businesses establish strong foundations and their ability to connect entrepreneurs with the right resources and expertise have been instrumental in my company’s growth.”

Dr Louise Butt, Director of the Space South Central Enterprise Network, said:

“We’re extremely proud to have supported so many organisations and projects that are pushing the boundaries of space exploration and technology.”

“Our partner universities and businesses already play an integral role in the nation’s space sector – and the potential to bring further economic growth and jobs to the region is huge.”

“Space data and technology also offers benefits for non-space sectors, from financial services to agriculture, marine and maritime to logistics, and we’re keen to show companies in these industries how space can help their business grow too.”

Jon Hulks, Space Ecosystem Development Manager at the UK Space Agency, said:

“Space South Central has had a remarkable year and firmly established themselves as one of the UK’s most mature space clusters.”

“Space South Central is a vital part of the UK’s thriving national space ecosystem.  By supporting organisations across the South Coast’s regional space sector to come together, they have driven local growth by building new partnerships – both nationally, and now increasingly, by breaking into exciting new international markets – and show no signs of slowing down.”

“Looking forward, the Space South Central team is keen to work with more space and non-space businesses, as well as those interested in pivoting their products or services to supply the sector.  The cluster’s Business Development Manager, Dan Smith, said: “It’s a really exciting time for UK space, and we’re here to help Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight stay at the forefront of the growth and investment opportunities on offer.”

Fit4Space workshop – ‘Commercial Considerations for Working with Primes’

Providing relevant information and practical advice on how to get in the Space Sector supply chain.

Dates & times: 22 May 1 -2pm

Book here

For more information about Space South Central

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