organisations on site
people working in the cluster
contributed by the UK Space Industry to UK GDP
Today, the Harwell Space Cluster forms an integral part of the UK’s space sector and has grown into a dynamic, enterprising ecosystem of 105 space organisations employing over 1,100 people.
At the gravitational heart of our cluster is RAL Space. With more than 50 years of expertise, it has flown over 210 instruments into space, including the Gaia Spacecraft, surveying a billion stars in our galaxy since 2013. The European Space Agency (ESA) established a major hub for satellite communications here in 2009. Other core organisations include the UK Space Agency, the ESA Business Incubation Centre, the Satellite Applications Catapult, and Astroscale – a leading company tackling the critical problem of space debris.
Whether it’s around funding space research or sending kit into space, our focus on inward investment also attracts a whole range of organisations, from small businesses and young start-ups to multinational aerospace companies like Airbus and Lockheed Martin. Over the last decade, companies like Oxford Space Systems (OSS) have grown from start-up to major producer of lightweight satellite hardware structures.
Support for incubation, acceleration, funding, technical partnerships and expertise offers cluster members a unique place to grow or find industry partners, facilitated by our dedicated cluster manager, Joanna Hart. And, unlike any other space cluster on Earth, every person here is only a walk or bike ride away from incredible open access facilities.
Cross-over between our Space, Health Tech, Energy Tech and Quantum clusters drives Harwell’s multidisciplinary approach. But it also creates new commercial opportunities – pushing our companies to transform pioneering science into real-world solutions. siHealth, for example, use space data to control people’s sun exposure. Kayser Space work on deploying microgravity platforms in space to stimulate drug discovery. And Rezatec, a geospatial data analytics company, use space data to track forest lifecycles, predict burst water mains, and maximise crop potential. Like OSS, Rezatec grew in just seven years from a small start-up to a company of 50+ people.
Capitalising on the disruptive changes happening in space technology right now, and building links with other international space clusters, means we’re helping the country to achieve its National Space Strategy goal for the UK to be 10% of the global space-related economy by 2030. By driving world-leading space research and technology, and spotting valuable commercial opportunities, we’re opening doors to the next generation of space discovery, satellite innovations – and, crucially, what exploration of the universe could mean for life on our planet.
To learn more about how the space cluster translates ambitions into action read further success stories.
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