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Welcome investment news will fuel Scotland’s space race

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The Scottish space industry is one of the fastest-growing in Europe with more than 150 companies employing in excess of 8,000 people. Its also boasts “end-to-end” capability spanning satellite and rocket manufacturing through to data and applications development.

READ MORE: Scotland’s space sector gets ready to bring the noise as liftoff approaches

The big question is whether companies in Scotland can overcome the country’s historic difficulties in accessing the scale-up funding required to compete on an extremely competitive world stage.

While the US remains at the epicentre of space activity, others are rapidly upping their game. According to researchers at McKinsey at least 70 countries now have established national space agencies, and 20 have estimated civil spending of more than $100m (£79.3m) per year.

Today’s announcement that the Scottish Space Network has partnered with New York advisory firm Sustainable Alpha to funnel more international investment into the Scottish sector is therefore welcome news.

Their aim is to secure opportunities for the global investment community to back early-stage space technology businesses in this country and further afield. In what is said to be a first for the Scottish sector, the collaboration will initially focus on funding needs within the industry and development of a comprehensive investment strategy.

READ MORE: Orbex lands multi-million funding for Scottish rocket technology

Andy Campbell, who founded the Scottish Space Network in 2022, said the partnership with Sustainable Alpha will be the first of several “key collaborations” to drive support for the sector. He is also asking companies to share their future investment requirements to help the network tailor its support for the industry.

All things being well, Scotland will later this year become home to the first vertical space launch anywhere in Western Europe when Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) sends its first ship into orbit from SaxaVord Spaceport on the Lamba Ness Peninsula of Unst. Maintaining this leading position – and reaping the economic rewards from a growing global industry – will hinge to a great extent on financing from initiatives such as the Scottish Space Network collaboration.

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