Transforming Business Support into a Thriving SME Community

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The recently published Autumn Statement and the UK Space Agency’s biennial study have both highlighted our industry’s continued growth and contribution to the UK economy. According to Government figures, the UK space sector’s turnover has grown by 15% in the past two financial years, to be worth £11.3 billion.
This high growth period has come at a time when we at the Catapult have been establishing ourselves and our relationships with businesses of all sizes throughout the UK, as well as organisations around the globe. Given one of our key goals is to “help businesses of all sizes to realise the potential from space”, the news of continued industry growth sits well alongside the Catapult’s own objectives, achievements, and plans for the future.
After all, with a target of helping to grow the UK’s share of the global space economy to 10% by 2030 – representing a UK sector worth £40bn per annum – we know how significant our responsibility is in contributing to this, as detailed in the Space IGS Growth Action Plan.
With this in mind, our dedicated Business Innovation team has implemented a series of initiatives over the past 18 months, geared to supporting businesses of all sizes and maturity, and driven by a three-pronged strategy – stimulating new business, growing existing businesses, and creating a supportive industrial and regulatory environment. We have a great team with skills and experience across business modelling and market analysis, user-centred design and business support.
We have also developed some specific initiatives such as:
  • Business & Design Sprints – our business modellers and design thinkers adopt a high energy approach to help companies better understand the scale and scope of their new business or service idea, and translate this into an ambitious yet realistic plan.
  • Co-Space – a shared workspace offering unique opportunities for planned and casual co-working and collaboration, as well as easy access to our broad range of experts.
  • Satuccino – informal monthly get-together for companies in the space sector to foster collaboration, keep them informed of opportunities that can help with their future growth, and engage them in Catapult activities.
  • Space for You – networking events designed to stimulate new business and raise awareness of the opportunities that satellite applications offer businesses.
From sign-posting through to more in depth engagement, we can work with your business to understand the best support for you, such as access to our experts or specialist facilities, guidance on funding and finance, mentoring, and supply chain engagement. We have already seen some great examples of successful collaborations and how our help with facilitating introductions to potential customers/partners has led to an increase in revenues and job creation. Whether you are in the space sector or think that satellite data might be able to improve the way your business works, please do get in contact.
By driving new cycles of industry growth and innovation, we at the Catapult will continue to stimulate, catalyse and contribute strongly to the UK space sector’s collective mission towards achieving our 2030 targets.
 by Sam Adlen
 Head of Business Innovation