Plans to become ‘Europe’s leading space nation’ outlined at LA space summit

Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead will travel to California to boost the profile of Scotland’s expanding space industry.

Plans for Scotland to become ‘Europe’s leading space nation’ outlined at LA space summit RFA

Scotland’s bid to become “Europe’s leading space nation” will be unveiled at a Los Angeles summit.

Richard Lochhead, the Innovation Minister, will travel to California this week to boost the profile of Scotland’s expanding space industry.

Figures from 2019-20 suggest a fifth of all UK space sector jobs are north of the border, but the Scottish Government hopes 20,000 jobs will exist within the sector by 2030 – more than double the 8,400 existing ones.

Scotland aspires to become “Europe’s leading space nation”, with a focus on sustainability and increasing US investment, the conference will be told.

Mr Lochhead will tell delegates that Scotland’s space sector is in a “world leading position”, and will “problem-solve for the benefit of humankind”.

The Space Economy Summit, sponsored by The Economist, will examine “the infinite potential of space”, on October 11.

Mr Lochhead will outline how Scotland is making an important contribution to exploration, innovation and economic growth of the sector to guests including international industry experts, investors and governments.

The intention is for delegates to learn more about the latest developments, discuss how to maximise the economic benefits of the sector and analyse how the latest technology could help tackle climate change.

Innovation minister Richard LochheadPA Media

Mr Lochhead will visit ABL Space Systems, the company developing the rocket due to power the UK’s Pathfinder space launch from SaxaVord in Shetland.

He will also meet with Universal Hydrogen, a company using innovative solutions to decarbonise air travel.

Mr Lochhead said: “We are on the cusp of something new. Technology built in Scotland will be launched from Scottish soil and the data will be used by Scottish companies to problem solve for the benefit of humankind – this is full end-to-end space capability.

“As we push forward to deliver the first regular commercial launch in the UK, we are attracting significant inward investment that is augmenting our considerable existing manufacturing and research capabilities.

“Scotland has always been a leader in innovation, and we continue to excel as we lead the world in small satellite manufacturing.

“In 2022, we also published the first ever Space Sustainability Roadmap, setting out how the sector can help achieve our climate targets.

“We are not alone in realising the opportunities offered by our space sector. Other nations are investing in Scotland, including the United States, with numerous companies choosing to invest in Scotland such as Spire Global and Mangata Networks.

“As we advance at a rate of knots towards our aim of becoming Europe’s leading space nation by 2030, I look forward to discussing opportunities within the sector and Scotland in particular.”

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