The Cornwall Council multi-million pound investment in Spaceport Cornwall is set to revolutionise businesses, jobs and skills in the region.
The University of Exeter has been working in partnership with Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit, Cornwall Council, the UK and European space agencies and the South West Satellite Applications Catapult to build expertise and business support services so that the region can reap the economic and societal benefits from the rapidly growing space industry.
The Spaceport will put Cornwall at the centre of the growing UK space sector, opening the hatch to a £15 billion industry with business opportunities ranging from manufacturing and design to engineering and research. In the next five years, Spaceport Cornwall plans to create 150 jobs and add £200m Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy.
A major opportunity at Spaceport Cornwall is through the launch of satellites and space applications which play a critical role in our understanding of the environment, natural resources and changing world. To support this work the University of Exeter has established a South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications based at the Penryn Campus.
The University is working with the Spaceport and Virgin Orbit to establish an Institute of Extreme Environments, which will bring together world-leading research in areas such as marine and polar sciences, deep earth mining, unmanned vehicles and medicine in extreme conditions. This together with expertise in alternative energy sources, human health, psychology, space law and sports medicine could make Cornwall a global leader for space environments research. The Institute will provide a platform for developing research and education programmes that will contribute to the estimated 30,000 graduates needed for the UK space industry by 2030.