Scottish Space Industry Starts Plans for an Ambitious £4 Billion Growth Plan

5th Oct 2020
Scotland Satellite View

A report by the Scottish Enterprise places growth projections for the Scottish Space Industry at well over £2 billion by 2030. The impact of the growth on the fight against climate change will depend on the data contribution towards better solutions. 

The Scottish Space Industry aims to double its revenue to £4 billion and the term given to the ambitious project is ten years.  With the current 12% year-on-year growth and responsiveness from the commercial sector, in what experts are calling the new space operating environment, these figures definitely seem achievable.

Government Role in the Space Industry

The new space project covers space applications, manufacturing and operations, and supporting services. The Scottish Space Industry has had a lot of backing from the Scottish Government and Enterprise.  It could explain why more than one-third of UK space investments are in Scotland. This is according to a July report released by the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI).

The Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, talked about the government’s plans. The country is looking to become the first European country to provide complete end-to-end solutions for the satellite industry from manufacturing through to launch and all the related services. 

It is also targeting satellite data analysis through innovation and launch which will cover areas such as environmental data and critical earth observation.

What is contributing to the expansion?

The expansion of the high speed commercial sector is attributed to a collaboration between numerous groups, such as the private space sector, government, the Scottish Space Leadership Council and academia. 

Exemplifying his point further, Ivan McKee talked about the important role the Scottish space industry would play in combating climate change.

By launching satellites from Scotland, the country would expand and enhance the earth’s observation system and the collection of relevant environmental data.  All this will provide meaningful and significant contributions towards tackling any climatic emergency.

David Smith, Scottish Enterprise Director of National Opportunities, echoed the sentiments. Scotland is very appealing to private sector players. Talent, R&D capabilities, collaborations with the Scottish Space Leadership Council and high-value manufacturing are the major selling points. 

The Scottish Space industry is already leading the pack with viable projects as they hosted the first ground rocket launch in the UK since 50 years ago. Space companies such as Skyrora are making strides in the industry and they have now built a rocket engine test centre in Central Scotland. 

The A’ Mhòine Peninsula will also host a new spaceport with construction to begin before the end of the year. Nanosatellites that were manufactured in Glasgow were also launched last month, joining others in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) totalling over 100 Scottish-built satellites currently in orbit.

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