12 Dec 2023
by Rory Daniels

Event round-up - Lessons from Yorkshire: How Space Clusters are supporting the UK to become a tech superpower

This webinar, run in collaboration with Space Hub Yorkshire, explored how industry can best leverage the UK's Space Cluster network.

Presentations were delivered by:

  • Felix Barr, Cluster Development Manager, Space Hub Yorkshire (slides)
  • Anuradha Damale-Day, Space Ecosystem Manager, Satellite Applications Catapult
  • Patrick Wood, SVP of Space Systems UK & Head of Space Systems Production, Airbus Defence & Space
  • John Frankland, Senior Business Development Manager, University of York – Institute for Safe Autonomy (slides)
  • Paul Birtles, Operations Director, Produmax (slides)

The session was chaired by Rory Daniels, Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, techUK

You can watch all presentations, plus the Q&A segment, here:

Please note that the below is a summary of the event, and readers are encouraged to watch the webinar to understand the full details of the discussion.

Q&A session

Q. How does knowledge exchange within Space Clusters work in practice?

  1. Satellite Applications Catapult has a Knowledge Exchange Manager who works with the Space Clusters to help them engage with industry, academia and local government. They do this by sharing general information and solving particular problems. This is particularly important for Space Clusters based around universities. Anybody with questions about knowledge exchange should reach out to their local Space Cluster. This won't cost you anything and it can enable you more effectively to explore opportunities.

Q. How do Space Clusters enable international collaboration?

  1. The UK's Space Clusters have all sorts of relationships with international space clusters. For example, Space Hub Yorkshire recently held an event with Flanders Investment & Trade (from Belgium) about promoting international collaboration to enable inward investment and exporting opportunities. You can read techUK's guest insight on this topic here.

Q. How can large organisations such as Airbus most efficiently engage with Space Clusters?

  1. Airbus has instituted a few central points of contact, including Martin Lee for UK and European supply chains, Anisha Patel for Satellite Applications Catapult and UK Space Agency matters, and Simon Rose for R&D. This has enabled them to have a coherent conversation with Space Clusters, subsequently benefitting all parties. SMEs interested in working with Airbus can also utilise these points of contact.

Q. How can I support my local Space Cluster?

  1. One interesting model of collaboration concerns talent sharing. For example, Produmax recently received 32 applications for the 5 spaces available on their apprenticeship programme. As a result, they are now exploring collaboration opportunities with their local Space Cluster with the aim of retaining as many of these as possible within the region, space sector and engineering profession. Airbus are in a similar situation as they typically receive around 1200 applications for 20 apprentice places.

In early 2024, techUK will publish its first Industry Perspective report on emerging space technologies.

This builds upon techUK's past few months of emerging space tech activity, including our Industries of the Future: Space webinar and Supercharging Innovation campaign week.

Click here to find out how industry stakeholders and members can contribute.


techUK – Supercharging UK Tech and Innovation

The opportunities of innovation are endless. Automation, IoT, AI, Edge, Quantum, Drones and High Performance Computing all have the power to transform the UK. techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and supercharge the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.

For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’. 





Rory Daniels

Rory Daniels

Programme Manager, Emerging Technologies, techUK

Rory joined techUK in June 2023 after three years in the Civil Service on its Fast Stream leadership development programme.

During this time, Rory worked on the Government's response to Covid-19 (NHS Test & Trace), school funding strategy (Department for Education) and international climate and nature policy (Cabinet Office). He also tackled the social care crisis whilst on secondment to techUK's Health and Social Care programme in 2022.

Before this, Rory worked in the House of Commons and House of Lords alongside completing degrees in Political Economy and Global Politics.

Today, he is techUK's Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, covering dozens of technologies including metaverse, drones, future materials, robotics, blockchain, space technologies, nanotechnology, gaming tech and Web3.0.

[email protected]

Read lessmore