The Catapult’s support for a UK-wide space ecosystem, has led to a thriving national space economy, with five-fold growth in the number of UK companies actively involved in space. The sector now generates £15.8 billion for the UK economy, and employs 47,000 people. Companies supported by the Catapult have secured over £400 million in private investment.
In 2013, the Catapult was established to create and grow a space innovation ecosystem at Harwell. Nine years later, the Harwell Space Cluster has grown from a nascent 5 organisations to now house 100 space companies employing over 1,400 people, and forms the beating heart of the UK space sector.
And they haven’t stopped there. From early on the Catapult sought to ensure the successes at Harwell were mirrored around the country. A regional programme has supported cluster growth from the South West to the North East, Scotland and the Highlands and Islands. The £2.8 million investment by the Catapult and UKSA has been shown to have leveraged £14.7 million for the centres and their regional partners, a 5x return. Nationally, the sector has grown from 234 companies in 2012 to nearly 1,300 today – a five-fold increase.
Just 45 minutes from Harwell, the Catapult has led investment of over £35 million from both public and private organisations into the complementary new space Cluster at Westcott. The Catapult’s Business Incubation Centre, Future Networks Development Centre and Westcott Innovation Centre are soon to be joined by an In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing Facility, Health and Agri Living Labs and a Drone Test and Development centre. Westcott is fast becoming a globally significant centre for next generation propulsion systems, and advanced communications technology and applications. The site has ambitions to secure an additional investment of £380 million, delivering 2,260 highly skilled jobs and £1.9 billion NPV.
All around the country, the Satellite Applications Catapult’s world-class facilities and approach to lowering barriers to entry has helped to create the space industry we see today. With Catapult support, UK space companies have secured over £400 million in private investment – over £300 million in the last two years alone