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by Sofia Villegas
08 July 2024
'World-class' experts to headline Scottish space event

Orbex, Scottish based launch services,is a confirmed exhibitor at the Space-Comm Expo Scotland

'World-class' experts to headline Scottish space event

A cohort of internationally renowned space experts will headline this year’s Space-Comm Expo Scotland, building on the country’s ambition to become “Europe’s leading space nation” by 2030.

The event line-up includes leaders from government, aerospace, defence and academia from across Europe.

Among the list of keynote speakers are UK Space Agency (UKSA) chief executive Paul Bate and space exploration director at the European Space Agency, David Parker.

The event will also be hosted by Will Whitehorn, the former president of the British-American spaceflight company Virgin Galactic.

The space tourism venture, which was founded by Richard Branson two decades ago, completed its first commercial flight into space last year.

Whitehorn, who is also the executive chair of Space-Comm Expo, said: “What we are seeing today is an absolute explosion of innovation. We have reached a point where humanity is now totally reliant on the space industry.

“In Scotland the sector is thriving and one of the fastest growing in Europe. Scotland is famous for world-class downstream capabilities and technology for deep-space missions.”

Paul Bate speaking at a previous Space-Comm Expo

Scotland’s track record as a space innovation hub has helped heighten interest in the event.

In December, SaxaVord Spaceport in Shetland secured the first vertical launch licence in Western Europe and its debut flight is expected to set off later this year.

Meanwhile, Scotland supports nearly one-fifth of all UK space sector jobs and Glasgow is a European leader in satellite production.

It is hoped the event will become a collaboration hot-spot and allow the Scottish space sector to strengthen global trading partnerships, according to Kevin Scullion, as international trade specialist at Scottish Enterprise.

Industry experts will gather at the SEC in Glasgow on 11 and 12 September to discuss how to unlock the "new commercial space age".

Hina Khan, executive director at Space Scotland, and Professor Malcolm Macdonald, chair of applied space technology at the University of Strathclyde, will also speak at the event.

The speaker programme includes discussions on areas from satellite manufacturing and downstream data to cyber security and space sustainability. 

Space-Comm Expo Scotland is supported by the UK Space Agency, UKSpace, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government, Space Scotland, South Scotland Enterprise, FinTech Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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