Supported by the UK Space Agency the Canadian space sector delegation touched down in the UK last week to explore the potential of shared space data and seek to build a new partnership!
The Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire, Surrey Research Park, and Glasgow’s space sector all received a visit from more than 20 delegates of the Canadian Space industry and the country’s government between the 2nd and 6th March. The representatives also visited many organizations and companies.
Various prominent members of the High Commission of Canada, the National Research Council of the Canadian Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Satellite Canada Innovation Network were present. One of the main goals was to build ties between the UK and Canada and aim to leverage the commercial opportunities in the exploitation of space data and collaborative research.
The International Director of UK Space Agency, Alice Bunn, said that welcoming such a large delegation of industrial and governmental representatives of Canada last week was a great experience. International collaboration with close partners is an important priority for the UK Space Agency.
The Canadian delegation discovered a full scope of fresh opportunities in the UK, especially when it comes to using space data for commercial and societal benefit. The director, Alice Bunn, went on to say that she was looking forward to the identification and pursuance of prospects between the Canadian and UK space sectors.
Agencies That Support The Visit Alongside UK Space Agency
Other organizations such as Scottish Development International and Satellite Applications Catapult also supported the visit and have spoken in favour of it. The Senior Trade Commissioner and the Minister-Counselor, Nathaniel Dubé, said that both UK and Canada have highly innovative space sectors, vibrant ecosystems for satellite use, and digital and artificial intelligence-based technologies with extensive capabilities.
He went on to say that the space sector is a priority for both countries, which has led to significant investments in ambitious space strategies. The alignment of the ambition and capabilities of the two countries allow having a conversation about the things that can be achieved by working together.
Currently, the UK space sector generates £14.8 billion each year. The value of their exports stands at £5.5 billion. As a leading member of the ESA, which is independent of the European Union, UK has committed an investment of £374 million per year in November 2019. The UK Space Agency also currently employs around 42,000 people.