Background: Photonics in the space sector
For over a century, Scotland has been at the cutting edge of photonics innovation. With over 60 companies at the heart of the Scottish photonics cluster, this ‘invisible technology’ underpins a vast range of vertical markets. One of these markets, and a currently growing sector for Scotland, is space.
Almost one fifth of all UK jobs in the space sector are based in Scotland. Scotland produces more small satellites than any other country in Europe, and aims to be the first country in Europe to provide a complete solution for the manufacture and launch of small satellites, supporting satellite and environmental data analysis and critical earth observation.
Technology Scotland in partnership with the Higgs Centre for Innovation, is currently exploring ways to further highlight the role of photonics in the space sector, with particular emphasis on supporting members to realise potential opportunities, removing some of the stigmas surrounding barriers to the space sector, signposting towards relevant funding and nurturing a community to help build an ecosystem for the space sector within Scotland.
Objectives of this Special Interest Group
Technology Scotland’s Photonics for Space Special Interest Group will have an overarching goal to support its members to understand the opportunities that exist for photonics companies within the space sector. We recognise that this sector can be perceived as having barriers to entry; however there are potentially good opportunities for our members. Non-participation can often be attributed to a basic lack of knowledge relating to specific markets, test requirements, manufacturing considerations, or regulatory frameworks.
Technology Scotland’s Photonics for Space Special Interest Group aims to allay these apprehensions by improving visibility of the potential opportunities and sharing the experience of those already operating in the local supply chain, creating forums for knowledge exchange and collaboration and signposting to appropriate support.