East Midlands space industry to receive significant boost through major European research collaboration

Posted by ap507 at Jul 18, 2018 11:39 AM |
The University of Leicester, LLEP and the National Space Centre have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the region of Piemonte in Italy during the Farnborough Airshow

Issued by University of Leicester on 18 July 2018

Download an artist's impression for Space Park Leicester here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o0mywuk9c7xej8q/AADQ6F0PIysxBla9MLu48ndsa?dl=0

Images from the MoU Signing Ceremony are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mi9vj5llt5ux4hb/AADWps6hIp9oNOTxxJPoDE17a?dl=0

The space industry in the East Midlands will receive a significant boost thanks to a major new research collaboration between the county of Leicestershire and the Piemonte region in Italy.

Yesterday (Tuesday 17 July), the University of Leicester, together with the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and the National Space Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formally mark the start of the collaborative links with the Centro Estero per l'Internazionalizzazione s.c.p.a. Piemonte representing the Piemonte region in Italy.

The collaboration, which highlights the pioneering initiatives being created through Space Park Leicester, will allow for greater transfer of knowledge between the UK and Europe, providing enhanced mobility to leading experts from Leicestershire in the field of space research to work across both regions and share expertise.

Space Park Leicester is an ambitious initiative to develop a global hub and collaborative community based on space and space-enabled technologies. Based in Leicester, adjacent to the National Space Centre, the Park's first building is expected to be ready in 2020. It is part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.  Space Park Leicester has been supported with an allocation of £12.88 million from the LLEP’s Local Growth Fund and £10 million from the University.

Piemonte is strategically positioned at the heart of the European development system, right at the crossroads of the main routes between the North-South, East-West. Italy is Europe’s 2nd largest manufacturer and Piemonte has strongly contributed to its success, demonstrating to be one of the manufacturing engines of Europe. It produces about 8% of Italy's national wealth, and its production system has reached high levels of excellence and tertiary sector expansion. Piemonte is a promising and competitive business area. The region is as dynamic in industry as in services, with a skilled, flexible and versatile workforce, 436,043 companies, 200 private and public R&D centres, 7 Innovation Hubs and 4 Science & Technology Parks.

The Signing Ceremony took place at the Farnborough Airshow (16 – 20 July 2018), which sees aerospace attendees from over 100 countries network, collaborate and discuss the future of the UK space industry.

This year the Department of International Trade (DIT) will partner on the UK Space Agency pavilion – where the University of Leicester is represented - providing sophisticated and high-level support on international delegation, maximising export and trade opportunities for UK businesses.

Professor Richard Ambrosi from the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy said: “Building international partnerships focusing on the key building blocks of research, skills, innovation, industrialisation and public engagement is a core principle of the Space Park Leicester project. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with our partners in Europe.”

Government ambitions for the UK space sector target 10% of a global space market of £400 billion by 2030 – a challenging goal requiring a coordinated approach from industry and academia.

This effort will be aligned to other recent activities in the region. The Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology programme (SPRINT) has recently been awarded £5M funding by Research England, a consortium of UK universities and agencies, led by the University of Leicester, established to enhance research and innovation and to put the UK at the forefront of global developments in the space sector. It aims at supporting small and medium-sized businesses engaging with Higher Education institutions, providing them with unprecedented access to university expertise and facilities.

For the University of Leicester, SPRINT is a platform to support the Higher Education Industry Funding (HEIF) strategy and its flagship Research Institute, the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation (LISEO), and pioneering work which will take place at Space Park Leicester.

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “At Leicester, our renowned space scientists have a long-held reputation for conducting world-class research. This new international partnership will provide opportunities for collaboration and innovation, working closely with colleagues throughout the city and county, as well as overseas.

"Initiatives such as Space Park Leicester help to drive academic collaboration, showcasing the research capability of the University of Leicester and allowing us to form new partnerships, explore the commercial and transformative aspects of our research, and most importantly, create new opportunities that set our students apart."

Director of Growth at UK Space Agency, Catherine Mealing-Jones said: “The UK space sector is alive with talent and world-class science, and this valuable collaboration with a key European partner demonstrates the vital contribution of institutions, such as the University of Leicester, to international space research.

“Space Park Leicester is using the power of local partnerships to provide a real focal point for space activities in industry and academia, as well as wider opportunities for collaboration. The UK Space Agency welcomes this MoU and is committed to ensuring the benefits of Space are felt across the whole of the country, as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”

Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Midlands Engine, building a country which works for everyone.

“This exciting new research collaboration between Leicestershire and the Piemonte region in Italy is, together with Local Growth funding, supporting the development of Leicester Space Park and the space industry in the East Midlands to achieve the Government’s ambition of growing the sector to ten per cent of the global space economy by 2030.”

The Farnborough Airshow provides a global stage for businesses, where a history rich in pioneering visionaries meets with cutting-edge innovation. The show attracts 100,000 trade and public visitors biennially, from multi-national organisations, the UK aerospace industry, SMEs and more.

More information about the Farnborough Airshow is available here: https://www.farnborough.com/


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Prof Richard Ambrosi on rma8@leicester.ac.uk

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

Midlands Engine

Some Midlands Engine key facts:

  • The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
  • So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.

Video material featuring University of Leicester academics discussing Space Park Leicester is available below:

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