Space East joins the UK Space Cluster family at the UK Space Conference in Belfast.

Posted on November 28, 2023

‘Space for our future’ was the theme for the 6th UK Space Conference, held at the impressive ICC building in Belfast over three days from 21st November 2023. Stuart and Julian from the Space East team were pleased to join their 14 space cluster counterparts from across the UK to promote the UK Space Ecosystem and the extensive work being undertaken to grow the UK Space sector within and across the cluster networks.

With a jam-packed agenda of exciting talks, workshops and events, the conference offered three content tracks of:

  • Discover the potential of space. Where will technology take us, can space be agile, what pulls us out there and what are the game-changing innovations?
  • Grow and let’s develop our space ecosystems and skills capability. Stepping beyond greenwashing and exploring the value and opportunities of data and AI.
  • Secure our space. Addressing the risks, ensure resilience, future-proof assets and services, and take the challenges head on.

The conference drew a massive attendance from across the sector. The UK Space conference team highlighting the breadth and depth of the engagement and challenge-led discussion in their final conference communication, ‘We heard from innovators, researchers, legislators, business and military leaders. We heard about the need for bold decisions; alignment on key issues like skills and investment; and the challenge of developing a narrative to resonate across the city and the public.’

Of course, the 15 space clusters were in attendance with cluster leads supporting Satellite Applications Catapult and UK Space Agency Colleagues at the UK Space Ecosystem exhibition stand.

In addition, there were three sessions focussed on the aims, activities and benefits of the UK Space clusters, including:

  • A ‘One Stop Support Shop workshop’, showcasing the fantastic Space Enterprise Community Resources
  • A Panel Session in the main Auditorium on ‘Why Do Space Clusters Matter- Driving Innovation and Growth’
  • A final workshop on ‘What can your space cluster do for you?’

Stuart had one of the speaker slots in the final workshop session and took the opportunity to detail how the clusters are focussed on delivering support and output for the key stakeholder groups of industry, academia and public sector as well as promoting the close relationship and cross-cluster collaboration across the UK space cluster ecosystem. He used the Space East pillars of Community, Business Support, Projects and Skills to illustrate the extensive number of benefits from engaging with your regional clusters. You can find these at https://spaceeast.co.uk/about-the-cluster/ We would also encourage you to sign up to the Space Enterprise Community platform to keep your finger on the pulse of the sector, events, funding, activities and opportunities  https://spaceenterprise.uk/

This really was a fantastic conference, and we had the chance to meet lots of new people, companies and collectively look towards a very exciting future for the space sector. It was also good to see cluster members Teledyne e2v and Gravitilab in attendance, with Rob Adlard, Gravitilab founder and Chair of the UKspace Industry Launch Committee launching the UKSpace Manifesto for UK launch capability at the conference as well as speaking on why the UK should aim to become the European leaders for launch.

A huge thanks to our colleagues at NI Space for being such generous hosts and to their cluster company Resonate Testing for a fabulous evening event at the Titanic hotel. We must also thank our UK Space Agency and Satellite Applications Catapult colleagues for their tireless work in developing and supporting the UK space ecosystem as well as all of our UK Space Cluster family. https://sa.catapult.org.uk/cluster-directory/

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    Stuart Catchpole

    Space Cluster Manager
    New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)