Mission possible for Welsh tech companies to supply the space sector

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A Space Technologies conference and exhibition in Cardiff today (Wednesday 5 April) will highlight major opportunities for SME tech companies in Wales to diversify and target the UK space industry – a global growth market.

Sponsored by Welsh Government and supported by ESTnet (the network for the Welsh technology sector), the event at Cardiff City Stadium is open to all technology companies in Wales, especially those working in software technologies including big data, analytics, internet of things and cyber-security.

The key message to Welsh tech companies is that many of the tools, services, technologies and products they develop can be utilised by the space industry which is actively looking to other sectors for the development of products and technologies to support growth.

The event is backed by a number of high profile organisations with speakers from both the UK and European Space Agencies, The Satellite Applications Catapult, Airbus, Seraphim Capital and Thales Alenia Space.

Opportunities for Welsh businesses to benefit from the wider space industry will also be highlighted later this month (Wednesday 26 April) at an event organised by Aberystwyth University entitled Space and Earth Monitoring: identifying business growth opportunities.

It is aimed at businesses interested in developing their knowledge and involvement with the space sector and will provide information on possible funding and collaborative opportunities and on skills development.

It is targeted at a range of companies from environmental consultancies to UAV specialists and from software developers to satellite developers and specialists in robotics and photonics.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “These events  illustrate the growing prospects that the space industry offers Welsh businesses and present a great opportunity to learn more about the sector.

“The key message is that there are opportunities for savvy SMEs in the tech sector to play an important part in supporting the growth of the space sector and that this presents a very real next market opportunity for Welsh Tech companies.”

There will be a mix of presentations to inform and introduce businesses to current and future opportunities within the space industries as well as the support available through Innovate UK, the KTN, academic institutions and the Catapults.

Avril Lewis, managing director of the ESTnet, said: “The development of the UK space industry presents enormous potential for the Welsh technology sector.

“As the network for the Wales’ fast-growing technology industry, we know the valuable contribution our members can make to drive the development of the UK’s space efforts. It is essential that we ensure our members are given every chance to explore such opportunities and pursue valuable partnerships with organisations and companies working within the UK space industry.”