Plans unveiled to better connect space industries in Scotland and the UAE

TWO SPACE sector agencies have announced their intention to bridge commercial space activities between Scotland and the United Arab Emirates.

Space marketing firm AstroAgency, headquartered in Edinburgh, has announced it will team up with Dubai-based space investment and advisory company AzurX, to support space businesses in both regions.

The two organisations have a global space client base, with AzurX acting as the trusted advisor and counselor to a growing number of the world’s most influential aerospace and space companies including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Satellite Imaging Company HySpecIQ.

AstroAgency’s international team has a proven track record of working with a range of government entities including the UK Space Agency, as well as close to 40 private sector companies such as Astroscale, Euroconsult and Astrosat.

AzurX and AstroAgency previously collaborated on a strategic project to support the Scottish Government and its agencies, delivering the Scottish Space Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The firms say they aim to build upon the foundations created by the event, which benefitted a host of Scottish space stakeholders, including Prestwick Spaceport, Trade in Space and Skyrora, that took part in a delegation to meet with potential partners and investors in the UAE.

The event served as the stage to announce the new Scottish Space Strategy, aiming to highlight the growing importance of the sector for the Scottish economy which led to significant media attention from CNN and a plethora of Emirati media platforms.

Moreover, another initial project is being discussed to support Scottish and wider UK space companies to establish a presence in the UAE to access new market opportunities, customers and funding channels and play a role in the local private space ecosystem.

Discussions are taking place with dedicated industrial and innovation zones across the UAE in close coordination with the UAE Space Agency.

Speaking on the announcement, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise Ivan McKee stated: “Six months on from the launch of Scotland’s space strategy at our Space Day at Expo 2020 Dubai and we are seeing tangible positive results coming to fruition.

“It is great to see dynamic innovative Space sector strategy experts AstroAgency and AzurX coming together to bridge fast-growing commercial space activities between Scotland and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Space industry in Scotland and indeed globally is seeing exponential growth and international business partnerships such as this will become even more important to allow exchange of talent, ideas and business connections.

“Both AstroAgency and AzurX played a significant role in showcasing Scotland’s space strengths at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“I am delighted that they are formalising plans to work together and I am in no doubt that this partnership will go on to achieve even greater results.”

The Scottish space sector is the leading manufacturer of small satellites in Europe and has developed a diverse range of capabilities, from launch services to strong data analysis and research services.

The two companies plan to focus on the UAE and Scotland initially, with a view to expanding activity to support space firms across the UK to build connections and collaborate with the UAE and wider Middle East region.

Founder of AzurX, Anna Hazlett, said: “Our partnership with AstroAgency has been in the works for some time.

“AzurX and AstroAgency are both fast-growing private space companies with unparalleled industry connections and experience in our respective regions.

“We are confident our collaboration will deliver value to business stakeholders, as well as helping to support government space ambitions on both sides.”

Space entrepreneur Daniel Smith, who founded AstroAgency in 2019 concluded: “We’re excited to explore further collaboration opportunities around space between the UAE and Scotland, building upon strong foundations from Expo 2020’s Space Week in Dubai.”

The UK space sector employs over 45,000 people in highly skilled jobs – from space scientists and researchers to engineers and satellite manufacturers.

The country aims to add space launch capability with five developing spaceports in Scotland alone, to already established satellite manufacturing and downstream data analysis sectors.

Meanwhile, The UAE has rapidly emerged as a serious player in the space world, launching its first satellites, astronaut, and interplanetary missions in quick succession. 

Both regions are well positioned to capture a significant share of the global space market, recently estimated to be worth $490bn by the end of the decade.

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