What is Space-tech?

The Space Economy is the full range of activities and the use of resources that create value and benefits to humans in the course of exploring, understanding and utilising space.

Space has been identified as a key priority for the Scottish Government. Our space sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the UK and partners are working together to win a £4 billion share of the global space market by 2030.

The traditional space sector has been largely characterised by big, expensive satellites. Today’s ‘New Space’ market promotes a more agile approach to management and processes. This is focused on miniaturised, low-cost satellite platforms – optimising automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies to deliver affordable data.

Space Market

Space firms headquartered in Scotland bring in £254 million
(Source: UK Gov)

£543 billion estimated value of the global space market in 2020
(Source: Space Foundation)

Scotland’s 133 space tech organisations employ a 8440-person strong talent pool
(Source: Scottish Development International)

Why Glasgow?

European Leaders

Glasgow City Region has built more satellites than any other city in Europe.

World Leading

Glasgow-based Spire – who own and operate one of the largest satellite constellations in the world – has more than 110 Lemur satellites currently in orbit


18% of all UK space role are filled by Scotland’s 7,500-person strong talent pool

The Glasgow City Region has established itself in the ‘space race’ and, with Sutherland having been selected as the site for the UK’s first spaceport, its role is set to accelerate. Areas of expertise include:

• small satellite technology and engineering
• space safety and sustainability
• space mechatronics, robotics and automation
• earth observation and data analysis

Lemur Satellite

Glasgow has become an international leader in the design, manufacture and management of small satellites, particularly in the widely used CubeSat form-factor with companies like Clyde Space and Alba Orbital leading Europe’s effort to compete with the US in the small satellite market

Satellite Manufacturing – where the city has built its reputation – comprises the design, manufacture and operation of satellites . The leader in the field is AAC Clyde Space, founded in 2005, taking advantage of the move to smaller satellites. They are pioneers in the CubeSat system. By 2016 the company was producing 6 satellites a month and now employ nearly 90 ‘Clydespacers’.

Space-powered data and analytics company Spire, which is headquartered in Glasgow, own and operate one of the largest satellite constellations in the world, with more than 110 Lemur satellites currently in orbit.

Both University of Glasgow, and Strathclyde have started offering a range of courses focused on the space industry from undergraduate to Ph.D. level, which has created a highly skilled workforce for companies in a city of under a million people. Each university’s specialist cluster teams work with industry partners to assist with space research, knowledge exchange and training activities.

Glasgow is a key hub in the Scottish space industry, finding itself at the forefront of a European revolution in space systems, with a strong cluster in dedicated technology operations for the space sector, the city region has become an ideal place for starting and developing a space-tech business.