The Airbus led space industry consortium for future UK military satellite communications, had more than 100 SMEs take part in its recent online event.
The consortium is focusing on the UK’s prosperity agenda with a commitment to grow the UK SME eco-system within the UK space industry. The consortium, comprising KBR, Leidos UK, Northrop Grumman and QinetiQ spends more than £5.8 billion annually in the UK supply chain.
During the online event held at the beginning of December, Airbus and its partners hosted speakers from the consortium, the MoD and existing SMEs in the supply chain. Topics included an SME viewpoint of the sector, supply chain requirements and how a small, innovative business can prepare itself better. The event also covered collaboration with SMEs from a UK government perspective and why an innovative supply chain is important to Airbus and its partners.
Richard Franklin, Managing Director, Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “Our vision for future milsatcoms for the UK is aligned to government policy in making a major contribution to the UK’s prosperity agenda, building up space capability and engagement across the SME community. Through our consortium we already count more than 2,350 SMEs among our supply chain and we are looking to bring more on board, bringing both innovative products and solutions but more importantly new ways of thinking. This will not only benefit the services the consortium can deliver but also expand the number of companies across the UK involved in the space economy and further strengthen sovereignty and value for money.”
In June the consortium launched its call “Open Innovation – Space” to encourage SMEs to see how they could contribute. In its first six months more than 100 companies were in touch, to offer ideas on how they could bring their expertise to improve mission critical communication services and associated space, ground and management segments.
Richard Franklin continued: “The Open Innovation – Space initiative is still open and I am looking forward to even more companies signing up to see how they can contribute to the future of secure communications for the UK’s armed forces. We encourage those interested to visit www.openinnovationspace.uk.”
Nick Caleb from QinetiQ said: “The consortium partners have been at the heart of the UK’s defence and space sector for more than 50 years and SMEs from across the UK have been a vital part of this heritage. Our consortium will ensure that SME engagement is at the centre of our solution to drive innovation, enable successful delivery and simplify collaboration for the continued sovereignty of UK space and supporting future UK prosperity.”
Airbus in the UK is recognised as a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced telecommunications satellites and is a trusted prime contractor for some of the most complex space science and exploration missions in the world. Airbus provides a range of space-based services to customers worldwide including the support of the UK Armed Forces, and its NATO Allies, by delivering and operating the Skynet military communications system, providing 24/7 services across the world for more than 15 years.
The UK’s space industry champion Airbus, has teamed with KBR, Leidos UK, Northrop Grumman and QinetiQ to bring new thinking to future space solutions including the UK’s future milsatcom requirements. At the heart of the UK’s space and technology sector, the consortium has developed leading edge design, manufacturing and services across the entire space domain with experience stretching for more than 50 years.
The consortium has a shared vision of the future which will address new threats and future user requirements. Building on its unique experience, the group will deliver choice, sovereignty and value for money.
Open Innovation - Space – Portal