Beam us up £4bn, Scotty: SNP government to boldly go after big chunk of global space business

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THE Scottish Government has unveiled plans to boldly go after a £4bn chunk of the global space market.

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.

The strategy aims to position 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, is another goal.

To boldly Glencoe: The Scottish Government reckons space could give the economy a £4bn boost. Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

It is also hoped to develop a world-leading environmental strategy for Scotland’s space industry, from reducing emissions to supporting the use of satellite data for environmental monitoring.

And building Scotland’s international economic opportunities through increased exports and targeted inward investment to plug critical gaps in capability is also on the cards.

The strategy is collaboration between the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies, industry group Space Scotland and the Scottish Space Academic Forum.

Launching the plan virtually at Expo 2020 Dubai, Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Space Strategy demonstrates the determination of our space community to work together to deliver this ambitious agenda.

“Our aims are clear – we want to achieve a £4bn share of the global space market, deliver a dedicated launch capability as early as next year and create 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.”

McKee added: “We will broaden the diversity of the sector, increase its sustainability, exports and inward investment, and enhance education to inspire the next generation of space industry workers.

“The potential is enormous. Our targets are similarly far reaching and I am confident we can achieve them.”

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.”

A Space Strategy for Scotland 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.