journey into space
6th December 2022

Helping the UK space industry to take off

Turning research into rocket fuel and firing up the UK’s space economy.  

The UK has an increasing reputation as a thriving hub for the space sector. Worth over £16 billion per year and employing over 45,000 people in highly skilled jobs, the space industry is a vital part of the UK’s economy.  

The UK government is aiming to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030. This is projected to grow from an estimated £270 billion in 2019 to £490 billion by 2030.  

Urban Foresight’s work helps to ensure the UK continues to be one of the most attractive and innovative space economies in the world. 


We have supported space industry clusters across the UK to enhance existing capabilities and prepare for the industry’s future needs.  

A highlight is our role in establishing Space North East. This “network of networks” was a direct recommendation from our capability map and action plan for the space sector in North East England.  

“Our analysis and conversations with stakeholders across North East England proved that there is a large, thriving Space sector in the region,” said Emma Clement, Senior Consultant at Urban Foresight.  

“These companies benefit from amazing facilities, strong academic connections, and enthusiastic public bodies. Space North East will help them to come together, collaborate on innovation projects, and continue to grow.” 


Urban Foresight is currently completing a project for the Wales Innovation Network, mapping space-related research facilities and capabilities of Welsh universities.  

We have created datasets on the research strengths of all eight universities in Wales, and the capabilities of the Open University and key industrial assets that they could potentially work with. This insight has led to recommendations for developing a central R&D consortium for Welsh space research, including ideas for future collaborative projects that it could initiate. 

“At the heart of this project is a common challenge for any research-intensive sector: how do you turn research into business activity, jobs and economic impact?” said Gordon Hector, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Urban Foresight    

“Answering that question usually means grappling with the specific assets, research, public policy and private-sector activity found in any one place. But it also means understanding how those things interact with international trade and innovation.  

Ultimately, it’s a balance of local rootedness and global ambition. This mindset is crucial to making good decisions to support future industries – and securing the UK’s position as a leading space nation.”

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