News story

Nurturing regional industry through business incubation support

We are expanding support for business incubation centres across the UK.

Engineer working on a satellite.
Credit: UK Space Agency (Max Alexander).

The UK Space Agency is expanding support for business incubation centres across the UK, providing funding that will enable a network of incubators to support start-up companies across the breadth of the space sector.

The incubation funding will grow space in the regions by providing a supportive business environment to assist entrepreneurs to develop small companies - an important path in realising the space sector’s ambition to achieve a 10% share of the global space market by 2030.

The funded incubators, located in the North, North Wales and east Midlands, will provide small businesses with access to facilities and resources and will be part of a network of incubators that will collaborate on events and initiatives.

The incubator funding was announced today at a Northern Space Consortium event in Liverpool where politicians and business leaders in the region were introduced to the opportunities and potential of the highly lucrative UK Space Industry.

Colin Baldwin, UK Space Gateway Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, said:

North England, the Midlands and north Wales all have the potential to make a significant contribution to our thriving space sector. There are opportunities for a range of companies developing innovative products that can match the needs of the space industry. We’re committed to nurturing business and research in these regions, and showing small businesses how they can benefit from our £11.8 billion space industry.

The incubators receiving funding include:

Business Durham

As part of County Durham’s innovation strategy, Business Durham seeks to help existing businesses diversify and innovate; encouraging high-tech, high growth businesses to join the growing cluster within County Durham. At the centre of this strategy is the North East Technology Park (NETPark).

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

STFC - a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation – will use the incubation funding to support a greater cross section of space related companies, both upstream and downstream, at its Daresbury Laboratory site. Daresbury Laboratory sits at the heart of Sci-Tech Daresbury, a National Science and Innovation Campus that co-locates high tech businesses with world leading science and technology, thus making it an ideal location to incubate space companies.

Glyndwr Innovations

Glyndwr Innovations (GI), a private company owned by Glyndwr University, manages the OpTIC Centre which provides technology-related, innovative companies with accommodation and business/academic/financial support. Its vision is to ensure a high quality, consistent supply chain for the space sector from north Wales.

Leicester Dock

Leicester Dock is an innovation centre specifically for high tech companies and includes companies that work with technology within the space sector. The funding will enable Dock to successfully deliver a regional incubator for start-up space companies which will have access to a range of business support. The Dock building was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

UNIP Management Ltd

UNIP provides a unique environment where business and research work together, sharing knowledge and sparking innovation. The business incubation funding will be used to offer a package of support for start-ups and small businesses.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University (LU) will use the funding to establish and support the development of a cluster of start-up companies, working in areas related to the space sector, at the new Advanced Technology Innovation Centre (ATIC) - part of Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks (LUSEP). The ATIC building was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Published 18 March 2016