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by Sofia Villegas
13 November 2023
Scottish space expertise to be showcased at world-leading conference

Scotland wants to become Europe's leading space nation by 2030 | Alamy

Scottish space expertise to be showcased at world-leading conference

Scottish space expertise to be showcased at world-leading conference

Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead is to showcase Scotland’s space breakthroughs at the European space tech expo in Germany.

The SNP minister aims to boost the country’s position as a world leader in the sustainable space sector as well as strengthen international trade links within the industry – which, to date, has created more than 8,000 jobs in Scotland.

Addressing delegates at the three-day conference in Bremen, Lochhead will also promote space as a “force for good”.

Lochhead said: “Scotland’s innovative scientists and engineers lead the way across the space industry; from designing, manufacturing, fand launching satellites to finding novel uses for the data generated which benefit our people and economy.

“The knowledge produced has never been more important – from tackling deforestation to predicting farms at risk of losing productivity – and we want to collaborate with international partners in this shared and urgent task of addressing climate change."

The Scottish Government’s space strategy aims to make the country the leading space nation in Europe by 2030, with forthcoming projects such as next year’s satellite take-off from Shetland being a key step towards this. 

Starting tomorrow, he will join a cohort of 23 Scottish businesses in attending the event.

He added: “Scotland was amongst the first to recognise the need for ethical practices in seizing new opportunities from the increasingly clear window onto our world supplied by satellites.

“Glasgow is the biggest manufacturer of small satellites outside the US and by publishing the first-ever Space Sustainability Roadmap we have set out how the sector can help achieve climate change targets.”

The Scottish Sustainability Roadmap was published last year and outlined the measures to achieve the long-term objectives of the industry. Created with the help of national and international experts as well as consultations with industry stakeholders, the strategy included becoming space debris neutral as well as supporting satellite data for environmental monitoring.

Countries expected to send representatives include Germany, the Netherlands and France.

His efforts come after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak left Scotland out of AI summit earlier this month – which Lochhead said was “deeply” disappointing.

The minister will also meet Lower Saxony Minister-President Stephan Weil to discuss hydrogen energy. Last year, the Scottish Government released their five-year action plan to support the development of a hydrogen economy, which would help its ambition to reach net zero by 2045. The strategy includes plans to build a hydrogen pipeline from Scotland to Germany.

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