Cornwall first space cluster to join UKspace7th Mar 2023
UKspace, the official trade association of the British space industry, has just launched a new membership band for space clusters, and Cornwall is the first to join. Space clusters have become a growing part of the industry over the past year, with the intention of supporting growing companies through local expertise, according to the UK government, and the Cornwall Space Cluster will now benefit from collaborating with other companies and organisations part of the membership.
Cornwall Space Cluster joins UKspace
UKspace says its strategy is to “broaden the models of membership and widen knowledge of the space sector” so that the industry can benefit from engaging with multiple companies and organisations.
“By having space clusters on board, they will be offering new and differing perspectives to our membership. We also hope that individual companies who are introduced through the clusters, will look to join UKspace in their own right as they recognise the value of joining independently and having the opportunity to be active on our range of committees.”UKspace Director, Lizzie Kerr.
The Cornwall Space Cluster has garnered attention in 2023 from Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit’s launch in January, putting the space industry on the front page of media. Despite the failure of the launch, its recognition in worldwide media is a positive step for the industry. The cluster is made up of a regional and national group of universities, businesses and experts all working within manufacturing, launch services, satellite tracking, Earth Observation, remote sensing and data applications, the organisation says. The cluster also includes the Goonhilly Earth Station and Avanti Communications.
The trade body said two other space clusters are in the process of joining UKspace, and another is at the discussion stage. No further details have been disclosed.
Clusters continue to grow
Not only are more clusters forming, but the UK government is taking a keen interest in them. In early February, the UK Space Agency announced it was investing £6.5 million into 18 projects and space clusters to “address local priorities” such as using Earth Observation to monitor water leakage and coastal erosion. The funding would help appoint Space Cluster Managers, who will work with local governments, businesses and academia to generate space activities and collaboration within those areas, according to the agency.
Several clusters received large sums of funding, including Space Hub Yorkshire and Space South Central, gaining £648,000 together. The Cornwall Space Cluster was included in the funding pool, receiving £272,000.
Cornwall Space Cluster, which includes the first operational spaceport in the UK, namely Spaceport Cornwall, looks forward to utilizing the extended reach of the organization. Marketing and Events manager, Shelley Jones, commented:
“We’re delighted to sign up to UKspace’s cluster membership, and be the first UK cluster to do so. As UKspace is the official trade association of the space industry, this membership allows us to collaborate with other space businesses, organisations, clusters and individual experts, ensuring that together we can grow a global space industry.”Cornwall Space Cluster Marketing and Events Manager Shelley Jones