University of Edinburgh partners with space firm

Drop-in sessions with AstroAgency were held each week at The University of Edinburgh's Bayes Centre

A LEADING light of the UK’s space industry has completed a prestigious contract with The University of Edinburgh (UoE) to provide guidance for anyone looking to get involved in the emerging sector.

The capital-headquartered AstroAgency has finished a successful pilot project, guiding students looking to enter the sector – as well as established local companies – on how to reap the huge potential rewards from one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors. 

As part of UoE’s work to become the leading academic institution in the field, drop-in sessions were held each week at The Bayes Centre – the university’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence that features a number of space related artefacts including the university’s advanced space humanoid, the NASA robot Valkyrie.

The partnership encouraged a number of students and entrepreneurs to attend both in person and virtual sessions to learn more about the sector and create their own space start-ups, gaining insights in marketing, messaging and market intelligence.

Kristina Tamane, Space Sector Lead at the University of Edinburgh said: “This partnership with AstroAgency allowed us to continue to support space entrepreneurs both within the university and the ecosystem around us – which is exciting and timely as the space sector in Scotland and the UK is rapidly expanding. 

“This pilot was a key part of the planned Space Innovation Hub activity, which contributes to our aim to be known as a Global Space University and the Space Data Capital of Europe. 

“We were pleased to see many colleagues and external companies take the opportunity to speak to AstroAgency and, as a result, be well prepared to succeed in the exciting space market.”

The pilot proved a great success with participants attending the drop-in sessions from both Edinburgh and further afield – the increased reach of social media even pulled in global participants from Canada. The Space Innovation Hub are looking at how to ensure this activity could be sustainable long term.

The University of Edinburgh is developing its Space Innovation Hub internally and has strategically partnered with the Satellite Applications Catapult, which has opened a series of Space Enterprise Labs (SELs) providing students with the latest collaborative technology, resources and expertise. Excitingly, one of the SELs is in the Bayes Centre, enabled by the Space Innovation Hub. 

From engineers exploring the management of fire risk in space; to chemists developing clean-burn rocket fuels, the innovation hub is continually evolving to cater to the needs of its ambitious students, with some even developing their own satellite missions.

Professor Iain Woodhouse, Space Research Theme Lead at the University of Edinburgh said: “In the recent UK Space Strategy, central Scotland was identified as one of the key space hubs in the UK. 

“Edinburgh is at the heart of that, and I’m continually amazed by the high-quality space innovation that occurs within the University, both from our staff and our talented students. It is exactly this kind of innovation and creative thinking that will help propel the UK space sector forward. 

“AstroAgency’s help will be invaluable in providing the first ‘leg-up’ for our innovators and budding entrepreneurs.”

London Economics has estimated the global space market by 2030 will be worth more than £400bn, with the UK Government aiming to acquire 10% of this market, and the Scottish Government targeting £40bn.

Founder of AstroAgency, space entrepreneur Daniel Smith, believes Scotland is merely scratching the surface of its potential when it comes to supporting the UK’s space sector ambitions on the global stage.

Smith explained: “Scotland has always been a pioneer in developing new technology – space can be the next chapter in that story.

“The role of academia cannot be overstated. World-class institutions across the UK, like the University of Edinburgh, underpin the growth and success of this burgeoning sector and, most importantly, support those looking to get involved in an industry that can bring a range of benefits to the environment, economy and our wider society.

“These free space marketing drop-in sessions were for anyone with an interest in commercialising technology to serve the sector; a sector that, in turn, serves almost every other industry imaginable. We’re excited to continue working with the space team at the University to encourage the next generation of space innovators.”

AstroAgency creates and amplifies messaging from private and public sector organisations operating in space or looking to move into the sector, with a unique combination of strategic marketing support, brand building techniques, space media coverage, detailed technical knowledge and all-important market intelligence.

The firm is helping businesses – that may not perceive themselves as space firms – to realise their potential and offerings in one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors.

The agency is on the hunt for organisations which have transferable technology, skills or experience that can be utilised within the space supply chain and currently looking to hire three new team members for marketing roles.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, AstroAgency’s rapid growth and diverse remote team is based in multiple key strategic locations, including London, Milan and Paris.

For more information on AstroAgency, visit:

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