In the 2021/22 Programme for Government, the SNP Government launched a new strategy to secure a £4 billion share of the global space market for the Scottish economy and create of 20,000 jobs by 2030.
The Scottish Space Strategy sets out plans to develop a network of satellite launch sites, pursue green technologies and build on existing strengths in data analysis and research.
A collaboration between the SNP Government and its enterprise agencies, industry group Space Scotland and the Scottish Space Academic Forum, its main aims include:
Positioning Scotland as a global leader for commercial space developments
Establishing a range of managed launch and orbital services, supporting the largest launch capability in Europe
Developing a world-leading environmental strategy for Scotland’s space industry, from reducing emissions to supporting the use of satellite data for environmental monitoring
Building Scotland’s international economic opportunities through increased exports and targeted inward investment to plug critical gaps in capability
Kenneth Gibson MSP, who has consistently and actively advocated for investment in Prestwick’s space and aerospace sectors over the years, said:
“This plan builds on both national and local efforts and investments the SNP Government has made so far, including in Prestwick through the Ayrshire Growth Deal and setting up the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, which focuses on manufacturing lightweight components for space and other industries offering significant cost-savings and efficiency benefits.
“These plans will also broaden the diversity of the sector, increase its sustainability, exports and inward investment, and enhance education to inspire young people to get into Scotland’s space industry.”
Chair of Space Scotland Craig Clark said:
“This strategy represents a landmark in the development of the Scottish space sector and looks to build on the impressive growth and momentum the sector has demonstrated over the past decade.
“The strategy sets out a framework for growth, making Scotland an end-to-end space system provider for the rapidly expanding global market. We have a young, dynamic community of space companies and are ready to take the Scottish space sector to the next level.”
Scottish Space Academic Forum Chair Professor Iain Woodhouse said:
“We are fully behind this exciting initiative. It will be the new talent and scientific innovation coming out of Scottish higher education institutions that forms the bedrock of the Scottish space sector and we are ready to step up and fulfil that role to ensure the strategy is a success."
Scotland’s space sector covers a wide range of specialisms, from satellite and rocket manufacturers to launch facilities and research and data analysis.
The number of space businesses in Scotland has increased by more than 65% since 2016 and the sector proportionately employs over twice as many people in Scotland as the rest of the UK.
Further information on Scotland’s business programme at Expo 2020 Dubai can be found at Scottish Development International.