Figures released at the RAL Space Conference show that Harwell Space Cluster grew at 19% over the last 12 months. 150 new posts have been filled as the Cluster has grown from 80 organisations in December 2017 to 89 as of today.
Collectively employing over 950 people, the 89 organisations that make-up the UK’s most concentrated Space Cluster are a group of commercial, public and academic organisations focused on driving innovation in the UK space market and supporting the UK space sector as it aims for a 10% share of the global market by 2030.
With the central stakeholders of the Cluster being the European Space Agency, Satellite Applications Catapult, UK Space Agency and STFC RAL Space, the Cluster is attracting many companies to set up operations at Harwell Campus. Funding and collaboration opportunities are extensive and businesses from start-ups to multinationals all benefit from being co-located with over £2billion of national science facilities.
Announcing the figures at the annual RAL Space Conference, Dr Joanna Hart, Harwell Space Cluster Development Manager said: “Today we are celebrating job creation in Oxfordshire as well as the vital role that space organisations based at Harwell Campus take in shaping the UK space sector. We have a unique talent pool in the area and, as the Space Cluster continues to grow, we want to create more jobs, taking advantage not only of the science and technology capabilities of people in the region but also the entrepreneurs and people working in the knowledge economy that enable the Space Cluster to thrive.”
David Kenyon, Managing Director of MDA a global company developing advanced surveillance and intelligence solutions, defence and maritime systems, radar geospatial imagery and space robotics said: “We are excited to grow MDA’s innovative and world-leading communications, robotics and sensor technology at the Harwell Campus. It’s an ideal location for us to grow our UK base and explore collaboration with the Space industry in the United Kingdom.”
Harwell Campus is home to over £2 billion of scientific facilities and 5,500 skilled people, with new facilities such as the £99 million National Satellite Test Facility expected to further attract more companies. To drive collaboration and knowledge sharing, ‘clusters’ have been developed in Space, Healthcare Technology (HealthTec) and Energy (EnergyTec). Each cluster brings together co-located industry, academia and public sector with investors and entrepreneurs, leading to a powerful combination to tackle global challenges.
Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Director of Harwell Campus Cluster Development linked the growth to the uniqueness of Harwell Campus and the strategic decision to create an environment where multidisciplinary collaboration is encouraged between the EnergyTec, HealthTec and Space Clusters: “Close interaction between people working in health, space and energy accelerates the translation of ideas between these disciplines creating new commercial opportunities for businesses on Campus as a result of knowledge exchange with peers in other sectors.”