The Ministry of Defence is calling on businesses operating in Wales’s burgeoning space sector to look at opportunities for further growth helping to protect the nation and its allies.
The Welsh Government recently unveiled its strategy to ensure Wales operates at the forefront of the global space sector, helping create high-quality jobs across the country. This highlighted the unique physical and business environment Wales offers companies that are revolutionising capabilities in the space sector.
Speaking at this year’s Future Defence & Space Opportunities in Wales Conference Paul Russell, Head of Space Delivery Team at Defence Equipment and Support, outlined to an audience of business leaders and academia the opportunities in the pipeline to help UK space defence efforts across a range of areas, including satellite communications, navigation and ground support services.
“The importance of the space domain to defence is growing by the day,” he said. “As a nation we are rapidly developing our space defence capabilities but we need the support of industry and other partners to achieve this.”
“There is no doubt that Wales is developing a world-class eco-system for its space economy and we want to tap into that rich seam of talent and expertise through the opportunities available at Defence Equipment and Support.”
“There will be many opportunities for Wales companies – including SMEs – to win contracts and help us to deliver Space Command’s requirements.
“At Defence Equipment and Support we have an entire team focused on procuring what is required from industry to deliver operational advantage in the space domain to our Armed Forces, wherever they are in the world, and we want to create partnerships with those companies in Wales who can help us in our mission.”
The Wales Space Strategy outlines the growing the potential of current and future developments in the space sector in Wales, including:
- Space launch, training and experience capability at Spaceport Snowdonia at Llanbedr in Gwynedd, and proposals for sea-based launch platform to operate from Port Talbot
- Strengths in areas such as low earth observation satellite capabilities, including Cardiff-based Space Forge which is developing a reusable manufacturing space satellite.
- Test and evaluation of new greener propulsion technologies at existing facilities, including Llanbedr, Aberporth Range in Ceredigion, Radnor Range in Powys and Pendine in Carmarthenshire;
- A cluster of pioneering companies including Airbus Defence & Space, Raytheon, Qinetiq, and Qioptiq – who manufacture 98% of the global supply of space-qualified glass used in satellites and space vehicles.
Since 2010, the UK space sector has trebled in size, now employing around 42,000 people and generating an income of £14.8bn each year. The global space economy grew by 6.7% on average per year between 2005 and 2017, almost twice the average yearly growth of the global economy of 3.5%.
To find out more about the Space Industry in Wales, visit www.spacewales.co.uk