Harwell Space Cluster turbocharges growth in UK’s space sector

Harwell Space Cluster turbocharges growth in UK’s space sector

  • Five ‘New Space’ companies showcase the latest UK space technology as they announce growth and partnership plans
  • Harwell Space Cluster, sees start-ups and scale-ups grow at pace helped by the co-location of industry, academia and national labs, attracting VC investment alongside public grants
  • Grown from two to 80 organisations over the past eight years, the Space Cluster at Harwell Campus is testament to the power of Space to drive national growth and support the UK Space Sector as it aims for a 10% share of the global Space market by 2030

Five ‘New Space’ companies pioneering the latest space hardware, robotics and technology share growth and partnership milestones with investors, industry leaders and British Royalty at the Harwell Campus New Space Showcase.

Members of the world-renowned Harwell Space Cluster – Rezatec, Open Cosmos, Effective Space and Oxford Space Systems, alongside European leaders Thales Alenia Space – are part of an 80-strong group of private, public and academic organisations focused on democratising the space market and supporting the UK space sector as it aims for a 10% share of the global market by 2030.

These companies focus on addressing some of the greatest global challenges for space, including developing new advanced antennas and satellite solutions that will ultimately reduce the cost and time for new companies to break into the space market; significantly extending the life of ageing satellites in orbit and using data from satellites to enable countries to achieve better crop yields and manage water supplies to avoid drought.

The five announcements were made at the Harwell Space Cluster’s ‘New Space’ Showcase where His Royal Highness The Duke of York marked the event with the first deployment of Oxford Space Systems’ newest antenna targeted at earth observation satellite constellations.

The unique ecosystem at the Harwell Campus helps start-ups and scale-ups grow rapidly with support from organisations such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL Space facility, the European Space Agency and its Business Incubation Centre, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency.

Joanna Hart, Harwell Space Cluster Development Manager, said: “Today is about celebrating the incredible companies we have in Oxfordshire. The growth of companies like those at Harwell Campus means more interesting and highly skilled job opportunities in the region, meaning that we can have a great quality of life and fulfilling jobs without having to commute to London.

“The Harwell Space Cluster already has 80 organisations employing 800 people, but that is just the start, we are targeting 200 organisations employing 5,000 people by 2030. Today’s event is highlighting just a few of these companies, watch this space there will be lots more.”

The Space Cluster is attracting significant private investment into the UK’s thriving space sector, with venture capitalist and private wealth funding focusing on companies at Harwell Campus.

Angus Horner, Director and Shareholder of the Harwell Campus Partnership added: “We’ve created a place that has all the components for technology companies’ fast growth major research infrastructure, private investment capital, exceptionally talented and ambitious people, plus flexible commercial accommodation”.

This article first appeared on the website of OxLEP on 14th June 2018.