Scotland Space Industry Leaders Talk Strategy Importance at Ignite Conference

25th Nov 2021
Scotland Space Industry Leaders Talk Strategy Importance at Ignite Conference

On 11th November, Scotland space industry leaders attended the Ignite Space 2021 Conference in Edinburgh to discuss sector opportunities. Among other things, conference participants paid attention to the importance of outlining a coherent space strategy that would spread across several industry segments. Here are the highlights of the event supported by the UK Space Agency.

Yvette Hopkins, SaxaVord Spaceport VP

Yvette Hopkins, executive VP of SaxaVord Spaceport (formerly Shetland Space Centre), believes that there is already some progress with the development of the national space industry. However, Ms Hopkins is also confident that the strategy needs more leadership. SaxaVord Spaceport VP referred to the JFK moment necessary to galvanise the Scottish Space industry and unite different strategies into something whole. Once the space, defence, and innovation strategies work together, the UK will be able to offer its own launch capability.

Katie Miller, Head of Communications at Skyrora

Skyrora representative agrees with the ideas, adding that developing launch capability is essential for the Scotland Space sector, especially given its advanced satellite manufacturing facilities. Ms Miller emphasises that Skyrora, a rocket-building company willing to make launches from UK soil, has seen rapid progression over the past year. The Head of Communications at Skyrora believes that the government should allocate more effort into training new professionals and repurposing experts from the oil and gas industry.

Scotland Space Against Climate Change

According to Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State for Scotland, Iain Stewart, Scotland Space technologies are vital in the fight against climate change. Mr Stewart adds that half of all climate change variables can only be measured from space, and the UK has been at the forefront of using space technologies to monitor and alleviate the consequences of global warming.

Several other speakers noted the importance of space technologies for achieving the UK’s zero-emission goals. Most conference attendees share the belief that introducing a united Scottish space industry will be highly helpful in that.

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