Glasgow & West Scotland

Space business hub launched at Strathclyde University

Artist's impression of Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University Image copyright Strathclyde University
Image caption The hub will be based at the university's new £89m Technology and Innovation Centre

A Scottish university is to host one of three hubs being developed to bring together key players in the UK's multi-billion pound space sector.

The Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications will be based at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

It is being developed by Satellite Applications Catapult, a firm promoting economic growth in the space industry.

The centre will allow businesses to tap into satellite data that could improve their products and services.

According to Strathclyde University, the space industries in the UK produce 40% of the world's small satellites and contribute about £8.2bn to the economy.

'Full potential'

The hub will be based at the university's new £89m Technology and Innovation Centre. It is one of three centres of excellence set up by Satellite Applications Catapult - with the other two in Durham and Leicester.

The centre aims to establish links between the scientists behind space and satellite technology and the business community.

It will encourage firms to use satellite data in new ways, from supporting the energy industry to planning future cities.

Prof Sir Jim McDonald, the principal of Strathclyde University, said: "Scotland's space sector is already driving the development of new technologies through leading-edge research and technology-driven companies.

"The challenge now is to bring universities, businesses and space agencies together to enable the sector to reach its full potential.

"The new centre of excellence will play an important role in helping companies to identify where satellite data can assist them in new and exciting ways, from measuring wind speeds from space to determine optimum locations for offshore wind farms, to using satellite navigation for integrated transport systems in future 'smart cities'."

The new centre will bring together expertise from other Scottish institutions including the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee and commercial companies such as Clyde Space Ltd, along with Scottish Enterprise.

The centre of excellence will be part of Strathclyde University's wider Space Institute.

The institute is made-up of a number of different facilities including the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, which carries out research on space systems, and the Scottish Space School, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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