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June 17th, 2020
Leading UK space industry consortium calls for greater SME engagement for future satcom services

Stevenage – The UK’s space industry leader Airbus, has teamed with KBR, Leidos UK, Northrop Grumman and QinetiQ to bring new thinking to future space solutions and to launch the Open Innovation – Space initiative. The aim of Open Innovation – Space is to further increase SME involvement in UK future satellite communications services and space activities creating high value jobs and growth across the UK.

The consortium, comprising the UK leader in space and sovereign military satellite communication services, and leading defence companies in their fields, have extensive experience in mission critical communication services and associated space, ground and management segments. With proven track records of modernising defence services, the consortium partners already engage with many SMEs to serve government and commercial customers. Open Innovation – Space will look to significantly raise this SME engagement to accelerate regional recovery by broadening potential investment in novel solutions and ideas. Companies from across the UK are being encouraged to participate with a dedicated portal at www.openinnovationspace.uk to engage with the team.

Richard Franklin, Managing Director, Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “The space industry will play an increasingly important and visible role in the economic recovery of Britain, underpinning not only critical national  infrastructure but also day to day services such as weather forecasting and satellite navigation. As space services and applications continue to expand and touch everyone’s lives even more, we are calling on SMEs to engage with us further to see how we can bring greater innovation and new ways of thinking in future satcom services to grow the UK’s space capability and industrial expertise.”

The consortium partners have been at the heart of the UK’s defence and space sector for more than 50 years having developed leading edge design, manufacturing, systems and service capabilities across the entire space domain.

Airbus in the UK is recognised as a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced telecommunications satellites and is a trusted prime contractor for some of the most complex space science and exploration missions in the world. Airbus provides a range of space-based services to customers worldwide including the support of the UK Armed Forces, and its NATO Allies, by delivering and operating the Skynet military communications system, providing 24/7 services across the world for more than 15 years.

The consortium partners include leaders in modernising defence information technology systems as well as trusted providers of research, technology advice, products and mission rehearsal services. With proven capabilities to enable interoperability with allies, including the US, NATO, Five Eyes etc, the consortium share a vision of the future and a commitment to grow the UK’s industrial footprint through SME engagement.