The Economic Implications of the Scottish Space Program

Scotland is setting out to stake it's claim in the space sector, a market expected to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2040.

In this video, Paul Wells (vice president & chief commercial officer: GOV SAT), Malcolm Macdonald (director: Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications), and Ahmed Kotb (Digital lead: IET) describe the growth and utilization of space technology in daily life and how these projects produce economic benefit.

In 2017 the Knowledge Exchange wrote Scotland’s space sector would provide a launchpad for economic growth – How will this be realized?

Space as an economic accelerator for Scotland

Paul Wells sets the scene. The space industry is booming with a growth of 20% per year and it is expected to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2040.

Malcolm Macdonald highlights that the space industry can be seen as a solution provider for other industries, that the industry has a vast potential for the country not just space exploration. For instance, the Scottish government’s goal of 100% broadband coverage and satellites can act as a key enabler for achieving this.

Ahmed builds on this to list a number of other use cases, such as in in-car and marine navigation, exploring crops and agriculture and long distance mobile communications.

Malcolm describes that the real value of the space port is that it closes the loop on the full waterfront offering Scotland has. The country has capability to design, build and operate spacecraft, exploit the data that comes from them and has a great geographic advantage for launches, but not yet the means to do so.

From 1:10 Ahmed says that these are very high cost projects but offer considerable returns, in terms of the manpower needed to build these capabilities and also the R&D that it enables. Malcolm adds that the key success factors are good people, good ideas, a pipeline of skills, timely financing and support from government, characteristics inherent to Scotland.

A Bright Future for Space

Ahmed and Paul conclude by saying the development of a space port in Scotland would attract businesses to the country, that the European space market is very bright and Scotland’s opportunity is simply to bring together the right people with the best ideas.

Learn more: Scotland in Space – The Future’s Bright.

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