Craig Clark MBE and Head of Clyde Space

Futureproofing Innovation in Scotland’s Space Sector

As part of the Glasgow Science Festival, Pauline participated in a space-industry focused event for professionals, businesses and education experts working in Scotland’s space sector.

Held on Tuesday in the Glasgow Science Centre, there were various talks and activities linked to working in the space sector, current developments, and potential future applications of space-related knowledge – with a focus on enhancing education, linking with businesses, identifying and promoting relevant skills, and business-growth opportunities for young people and space-sector organisations as a whole in Scotland.

Craig Clark MBE (pictured above) – head of Clyde Space gave an excellent keynote talk which included discussion on:


The power and opportunities involved in gathering data from space
Practical applications – what’s currently captured
Future opportunities – what’s not captured


  • Using CubeSats to capture a wide variety of data
  • Resultant creation of a Scottish satellite industry – with reputational, social and economic impacts
  • Need for a culture of innovation to identify and deliver payloads in a small ‘box’
  • Lower cost, risk and investment models compared to larger satellites
  • Enabling work with other space companies – Planet Labs, SPIRE Sense

Clyde Space Missions

  • UKube-1 – first satellite designed and built in Scotland, launched in 2014
  • PICASSO – in-orbit demonstration of the potential on CubeSats
  • SEAHAWK – measuring Ocean Colour Data around the globe
  • OUTERNET – free internet access with the “goal of offering a near continuous broadcast of humanitarian data to those most in need”
  • MEGA CONSTELLATIONS – a constellation of CubeSats around the globe that will “transform the way we use space in the future”

See for more information.

Relative Stability & Attractiveness of the Space Sector

  • Market growth increases (7-9{48874dce6b375ead853888a9b8064ea86602b0d81086c9084f86500734dfdf6f} per annum) despite recessions etc
  • Lower risk and investment models suit a variety of investors
  • Space will always be “sexy”
  • Ongoing innovation is needed to meet the demand of “what can fit in this box?”
  • Consumer expectations for detailed up-to-date information, means a need for more-and-better data capture

Need for a launch site in Scotland/the UK

  • Scotland as an ideal site for a launch site
  • Resultant opportunities for business and communities
  • Opportunities for leisure and tourism – Scotland as the departure and destination point for sub-orbital

In addition there were presentations and activities from Venturefest Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and My World of Work Live!.

Ronnie Palin - Skills Development Scotland

For more information see: Glasgow Science Festival: Futureproofing Innovation.

Posted in News & Newsletter, Space ESA.
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