UK Space Agency to fund space incubator in Glasgow’s Tontline Centre
University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City council lead new space incubator funded by the UK Space Agency
Strathclyde University has received funding from the UK Space Agency to set up a space incubator for innovators in the Tontine centre in Glasgow in March 2017.
The University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Centre for Satellite Applications (SoXSA) will use the funding in partnership with Glasgow City Council to attract start-up entrepreneurs to join the burgeoning space sector in Glasgow.
The grant will cover six innovative companies across two years to grow the space sector.
Dr Steven Owens, knowledge exchange fellow in Strathclyde’s space institute, said “We are looking for both international and local companies to join the new incubation program in Glasgow and we will support their business and technical ideas.”
“We have spoken with space companies from the United States and they are looking to relocate in Glasgow” Owens added.
SoXSA is one of the largest such centres in Europe which shapes the link between Strathclyde’s Space Institute and the space business sector.
“One of the key goals of SoXSA is to help creative companies in the space researches who have great ideas that could be turn into a product to integrate into the commercial side of their business idea” Owens said.
“The new space incubator in the Tontine will allow a smoother transfer of knowledge from research to commercialisation,” he added.
The space incubator will increase Scotland’s share in the space industry of the UK, which generates around £11 billion every year.
Scotland currently acquires around 18% of the UK’s space sector employment which is the equivalent of around 7,000 jobs.
Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said on the University website “This investment from the UK Space Agency underlines the city of Glasgow’s international reputation as a thriving hub for businesses in the space sector, which play a vital role in the growth and advancement of the industry globally.”
“As an entrepreneurial university and home to one of Europe’s largest space engineering research groups, it’s fitting that we work with Glasgow City Council to attract more innovative companies to the heart of our city – and to Scotland’s first Innovation District.
The strong links between the University, the space sector and government have fostered an environment where disruptive space technologies and satellite applications are being created – benefiting a wide range of sectors, companies and the economy as a whole” McDonald added.
In February, Strathclyde held an international conference of Data Space 2017 that attracted space companies from around the world to discuss how satellite applications could be used to support a wide range of sectors, including farming, transport, life sciences, energy and environment.
“The conference was a good opportunity which allowed innovators and entrepreneurs from academia and the commercial sector to meet and network with regulators, legislators and venture capitalists” Dr Owens said.
“The new space incubator became like a coronation of the conference’s discussions which will build-up the space sector in Glasgow by attracting new innovative companies” Owens added.
The UK Space agency’s award of £150,000 will provide also an innovation hub in Southampton with world-leading expertise in developing next generation Marine Autonomous Systems and other scheme led by the University of Exeter to run the Space Tech Incubation Initiative.
Helen Roberts, Regional Growth Manager at the UK Space Agency, said on the agency website “We are delighted to extend the network of incubators supporting space sector start-ups to cover even more of the UK.”
“We look forward to working with them and seeing them help exciting new businesses to develop and flourish” she added.
The space incubator centres will support the UK’s plans to achieve 10% of the global space market by 2030.
Featured Image obtained with permission from Strathclyde Space Institute