Space sector could provide jobs boost to Scottish firms

Image caption, Space technology is worth about £6bn a year to the UK economy

Scotland's business community will be asked to aim for the stars and take part in Scotland's first Scottish Space Symposium.

Local firms and academics are to gather in Glasgow to look at ways of exploiting the jobs potential in the space technology sector.

It is worth about £6bn a year to the UK economy and it supports about 70,000 jobs.

The event is being run by Strathclyde University and Scottish Enterprise.

Among those taking part will be the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, the communication technology company Star-Dundee as well as figures from the European Space Agency.

'Future adventures'

One of the event's organisers, Professor Colin McInnes, who is director of the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde, said: "The needs for new thinking in space technology has never been greater.

"Advanced space systems will be key to meeting our insatiable demand for better communications on our climate and enabling future adventures in science and exploration."

Dr James Biggs, a lecturer with the Advanced Space Concepts Lab at the University of Strathclyde, told BBC Scotland's news website that "the space sector looks as if it could be immune from the effects of the recession".

He added: "With a 7% growth last year globally in the space sector there is chance of a successful collaboration between new technologies and academics to help bring jobs to Scotland in this growing sector."

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