Major event to showcase Shetland to international space industry

Shetland is to showcase itself to the international space industry at a four-day event in the isles next month.

Championed by Shetland Islands Council, HIE Shetland and the Shetland Space Centre, the gathering of key industry players from 28th-31stMay is designed to demonstrate what Shetland has to offer in a very topical and fast-moving sector.

Attendance at the inaugural Shetland Space Week is by invitation only, with guests from both the public and private sectors from the UK, North America and Europe.

The space industry was worth £2.5 billion to the Scottish economy in 2017, and with a recent UK Act of Parliament permitting the UK Space Agency to licence launch sites, there is already a great deal of interest from national and international space companies in the planned Shetland Space Centre site in Unst.

Head of HIE Shetland Rachel Hunter said: “This has the potential to be very exciting for local businesses, and we will be inviting them to a ‘meet the buyer’ event, where they can highlight their capabilities, honed and developed over the decades supporting oil and gas, aquaculture and renewables.

“Another aim of the event is to encourage both upstream and downstream activity, including satellite launch and tracking, teleporting and datalinking, and hopefully manufacturing and training.”

Director of the Shetland Space Centre Frank Strang said: “The Shetland Space Centre team believes strongly that the sophisticated and experienced supply chain on-island, allied to its geography and infrastructure, will ultimately ensure that Shetland plays a pivotal role in the future growth of the UK’s and Scotland’s space industry.

“We are really looking forward to hosting a wide range of industry representatives and showing them what Shetland has to offer.”