Ten UK space firms to participate in entrepreneur trade mission in US


Ten small space companies in the UK are taking part in an entrepreneur trade mission to the US in order to collect investment for the sector.

During the ongoing government-backed mission, which is organised by Innovate UK, the firms will meet major players in the US space industry and showcase their ideas.

The ideas include space TV of the Earth with a plan to extend to the Moon and Mars, an extra-terrestrial selfie stick, and a system that automatically alerts the emergency services if a motorcyclist has crashed. 

"The UK is already a world leader in the space sector, with over 10% of the space services market."

Under the mission, the UK companies are planning to visit start-up accelerators, major US space companies such as Nasa and Virgin Galactic to secure investment for their innovative space ideas.

Innovate UK satellite applications lead technologist Andy German said: “The UK is already a world leader in the space sector, with over 10% of the space services market.

“Our entrepreneur mission is intended to help UK companies to secure the partnerships and investment they need to help the UK space industry reach its target of a £40bn turnover by 2030.

“We are taking some of the best UK companies working in this sector to pitch their innovative solutions in the US, the world’s key marketplace for space technologies.”

The UK’s space sector currently captures 11.2% of the market for the operation of space vehicles, and 10.3% of the market in data and services provided by satellites.

The sector also directly employs 37,000 people in the UK and has more than doubled its turnover over the past decade to £11.8bn a year.

Since 2000, the sector has been delivering an average annual growth in turnover of 8.8%.

In 2014 and last year, the UK led similar trade missions to the US and secured collaboration with companies in Utah and Texas, US.