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EM3 Space Sector

Last updated 17 May 2020
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Satellite orbit

The space and satellite sector has recently become a key priority for the  Enterprise M3 LEP. The region has undergone an exponential growth of 33% in space activity since 2016, as demonstrated by UK Space Agency (2019) analysis . With over 140 space-related organisations, including upstream, downstream, ancillary and manufacturing business activities, EM3 is paving the way to unravelling its space sector. 

After attending the UK Space Conference in Newport this September, EM3 LEP is working to create a functional ecosystem of space organisations through an integrating and holistic approach targeting all stakeholders across the space realm. By collaborating with schools, academia, research institutes and laboratories, corporates, SMEs and start-ups, it aims to unlock opportunities for innovation, driving growth and prosperity.

Over 140 space sector organisations operate in the EM3 area and employ more than 3,200 staff.

What makes the EM3 Space cluster unique?

There are many factors that make space businesses and activities unique for this area. These include:

  • An extensive downstream sector, with distinctive ancillary and manufacturing services
  • Strong earth observation capabilities
  • EM3 is the No.1 centre for games development in the UK
  • World-leading 5G Innovation Centre
  • Six top UK universities with specialisms in space and technology
  • Home to BAE Systems
  • Home to SetSquared, the top business incubator worldwide
  • Three Enterprise Zone sites 
  • Top maritime cluster
  • Proximity to international gateways of Heathrow and Farnborough airports as well as Southampton, and Portsmouth ports
  • Easy access to London

EM3 Space Cluster Group

Since addressing the space industry, Enterprise M3 LEP has established a space cluster steering group which brings together businesses, local authorities, university networks, and support organisations. These include EM3 Growth Hub, UK Space Agency, Satellite Applications Catapult, and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

The role of the group is to discuss the direction of EM3 space sector, as well as facilitate cooperation between space and other sectors, including 5G, immersive tech, clean growth, agri-tech, med-tech and cybersecurity.

The video above was made by the University of Surrey and Institute of Physics as part of 2019 World Space Week (WSW). To celebrate the event they took over Guildford High Street involving over 2,000 local people, 30 STEM Ambassadors, 20 external partners, and one UK Space Agency spacesuit.

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s top professional, scientific and technological universities. Surrey has a world-class profile and a leading reputation in teaching and research. It offers students a unique combination of high academic standards, employment success and a prime location in beautiful surroundings with ease of access to London. 

Key Partners

University of Surrey

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