Inaugural Space-Comm Expo goes into orbit

Posted on 7 July, 2021 by Advance 

Space-Comm Expo, the UK’s first event dedicated to the commercialisation of space, kicked off today with an opening address from Elodie Viau of the European Space Agency and Ian Annette from the UK Space Agency, who joined Kevin Craven from ADS to discuss the UK’s future opportunities in space.

Image courtesy Farnborough International

The panel gave attendees the inside track on the potential effects of the new space economy for economic growth, as well as the beneficial ripple effect of space spend, and the government’s plans to support innovation, develop cutting edge technology and drive down the costs of space access.

Following the opening address, Will Whitehorn, President of UKspace walked attendees through some of the current challenges for the UK space industry. He gave particular focus on the sectors financing requirements, sharing how this would impact the future industrial revolution in space. 

Commenting on the opening of this year’s event, Rob Sherwood, Managing Director of Hub Exhibitions, said: “With a growing focus on Space from the UK government we felt it was imperative to bring together industry and government leaders in this area to discuss the commercial future of space. The first day of the conference has been a tremendous success,

One of the most lively discussions of the day came from a UK first panel discussion between four of the seven potential UK spaceports. Chaired by Ian Annett from the UK Space Agency, the panel brought together, Melissa Thorpe from Spaceport Cornwall, Nick Smith from Lockheed Martin Space, Yvette Hopkins from Shetland Space & Security at Saxavord Spaceport, Roy Kick from Space Hub Sutherland and John Whalley from Space Wales Leadership Group.

Additional highlights from day one at Space-Comm Expo 2021 included:

An insightful session from Professor Nigel Fox of the National Physical Laboratory alongside Sarah Macken, Katherine Elsom and Carl Warren of Airbus Defence and Space on the environmental challenges we face and how the space sector could play a role in addressing this. The panel discussed how new satellite technologies are able to shed light on issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation and natural disasters.

A keynote presentation from across the pond with Lisa Campbell, president of The Canadian Space Agency, who shared the agencies vision for the future of space

A great panel discussion moderated by TV’s Dallas Campbell, which focused on the next generation building the space sector and brought together, John Finney from Isotropic Systems, Doug Liddle from In-Space Missions LTD, James Fairbairn from Cornwall Space, Jeff Crusey from Seraphim Capital and Severin Blenkush from The Space Rapid Capabilities Office. The panellists discussed what it meant to be an entrepreneur in the sector and the need for disruptors.

A look at space acquisition focus for the US with Mike Roberts, Director and Program Executive Officer for The Space Rapid Capabilities Office. Mike shared how culture and a growing business intelligence outreach programme was paving the way for rapid space acquisition which is critical for the US Space Force.

An honest perspective on the realities of breaking into the UK Space Sector from Mike Mackenzie at Tyvak International and Andrew Beaumont at Lockheed Martin UK Space. Mike and Andrew shared what their experience has been supporting two successful companies compete and grow in the UK space marketplace.

On day two of Space-Comm Expo tomorrow, doors open at 9:00am, when Air Vice Marsal Harvey Smyth, Head of the UK’s Space Directorate within the Ministry of Defence, will be headlining the day. He’s set to engage the audience with insights into future defence space policy and strategy, as well as his thoughts for cross-government and international coordination.