About Space West

Central to the achievement of national ambitions is the growth of space innovation and enterprise at local and regional levels. At Space West we recognise the benefits of working collaboratively and our vision for the cluster is to harness complementary strengths in cybersecurity, aerospace, communications, compound semi-conductors, robotics, nuclear energy and advanced engineering across the wider region to accelerate innovation, growth and regional prosperity.

Seizing the opportunity to play a leading role in the future success of the space sector and the wider space-enabled economy, the West of England was successfully named as one of seven new Space Hubs established by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) in November 2020. Reinforced by strong endorsement from industry champions, the Space Hub has provided the momentum for the development of an ambitious and timely regional space strategy.

The further funding awarded in February 2023 builds on the work undertaken over the past two years  and allows us to refine our strategy, identify market opportunities, expand our geographical reach and deliver a Space Cluster Development Programme. Space West, is a collaborative programme that will deliver the vision for space for the West of England and surrounding regions.

The Space West programme is led by the  National Composites Centre, in partnership with West of England Combined Authority, the Centre for Modelling and Simulation, the University of Bath, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. Reinforced by strong endorsement from industry champions, the Space Hub has provided the momentum for the development of an ambitious and timely regional space strategy.

With a vision of becoming an internationally-recognised space region, we are bringing together space stakeholders to work with a common purpose to identify market opportunities that will generate economic, social and environmental benefits for the West of England and beyond.

To realise this vision and unlock market opportunities, actions are set out under four Strategic Pillars that will be delivered across the Space West programme, to grow the space sector in the region and achieve economic, social and environmental benefits:

Capability - We will capitalise on our existing space and non-space strengths and create new capabilities through cross-sectoral innovation and technology convergence

  • Deliver flagship collaborative research and development projects to work towards our Grand Ambitions, our priority market opportunities and driving cross-sectoral innovation
  • Stimulate engagement between the space sector and the aerospace, defence, cyber, high-tech, digital and creative communities, particularly with respect to the development of downstream applications
  • Establish a Space Living Lab to undertake real-world testing and demonstration of space-enabled applications

Talent - We will prioritise space education, skills and workforce development, while undertaking inspirational outreach activities

  • Identify and address skills gaps based on how existing STEM skills and workforce mechanisms in the region can support the space sector
  • Maximise benefits from national skills and diversity initiatives, and contribute to the development of the National Space Skills Academy
  • Establish international educational partnerships and enhance collaboration between the space industry and the digital, creative and cultural community

Enterprise - We will provide the dedicated support required to enable space businesses to accelerate and grow

  • Promote space-specific business support and sources of finance widely and effectively within the West of England
  • Provide access to affordable space incubation and acceleration support and facilities
  • Establish frameworks and mechanisms for space entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to undertake collaborative research, development and solutions testing with larger companies and academia

Beyond our Boundaries - We will proudly communicate and promote our space strengths, capabilities and ambitions, while welcoming collaboration with other UK regions and developing international relationships

  • Develop a compelling space proposition and suite of space-specific marketing materials to showcase the West of England’s strengths and capabilities
  • Host a major space conference/expo in the West of England and participate in internationally-significant space shows
  • Collaborate with other UK space hubs and clusters to develop competitive advantage and build international relationships to drive a step-change in space-related exports and inward investment

Who we work with

  • National organisations in space, innovation, and defence: UKSA Regional Growth Team, DSIT Space Directorate, The Satellite Applications Catapult, The National Space Partnership, UK Space, The Defence Security and Technology Laboratory, Innovate UK, MOD Space Command, STFC, High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the Space Skills Alliance.
  • Organisations operating in associated sectors including Aerospace, Digital, Security & Defence, Cyber security, semi-conductors, energy and
  • UK Space Cluster Network
  • Regional collaborators include Invest Bristol and Bath, TechSpark, Setsquared, Business West and Western Gateway.

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