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University technology centre to host space sector conference for businesses


16 June 2016



A leading technology centre will host a conference to launch a new funded space programme.

Glyndwr Innovations at the OpTIC Technology Centre is aiming to attract businesses from the sector to the St Asaph facility after landing a £50,000 grant from the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

The event, which includes networking and speakers, takes place at the complex – part of Wrexham Glyndwr University - on Wednesday 6 July from 9.30am-3pm.

Representatives from UK Space Agency, Welsh Government, Kent Periscopes, Innovate UK, the Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER), Aerospace Wales Forum, Northern Space Consortium and Denbighshire County Council will be in attendance.

OpTIC director Caroline Gray says companies joining the incubation centre will benefit from a funded package of technical and business support/seminars, rent incentives, high-tech facilities and collaborative partnerships.

She added: “We are delighted to be hosting this conference and to be welcoming so many big names from the sector in Wales and beyond.

“We want to spread the word about the excellent facilities here at OpTIC and what we can bring to the arenas of space and technology, a history of supporting hi-tech companies and hundreds of high quality science-based workers as they grow and develop into world leaders.

“We nurture them, they learn from each other and collaborate – the OpTIC Centre has been a real success story that North Wales can be proud of.”

The UKSA proposal highlighted the need to grow space industries in UK regions by providing a supportive commercial environment to assist entrepreneurs to grow and develop small companies.

Reflecting on the university’s vision to reinforce and grow the industry in Wales, Caroline said: “The vision is to ensure a high-quality, consistent supply chain for the sector. Glynd┼Ár Innovations will maximise and expand current links to form a North Wales base of knowledge transfer, technological expertise and a programme of business and technical support in an environment which allows small companies to concentrate on growth and development without the constant pressure of everyday business concerns.

“It will, through its networks such as the North West Innovation Network, collaborate closely with similarly focused incubation units throughout the UK to share best practice and ensure small companies benefit through a national network of relevant events taking place in their sector.”

“We are thrilled to have received this backing, which comes as we refocus the centre and build on our already strong reputation in the fields of high technology, optics and scientific research.”

Colin Baldwin, UK Space Gateway Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, added: “North Wales has the potential to make a significant contribution to our thriving space sector. There are opportunities for a range of companies developing innovative products that can match the needs of the space industry.

“The incubator at Glyndwr Innovations will build upon the growing interests in space and the role it can play to support other sectors within their local areas, both in technology developments and space-derived services.”

Among the topics discussed on the day will be R&D in Wales, The Wales Space Strategy, nurturing growth on St Asaph Business Park, and optical systems for aerial imaging.

The invite is open to innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, graduates and SMEs developing a product/technology or high-tech applications for the sector.

To exhibit or for further information, contact Debbie Davies by email, or phone 01745 535208.

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Notes: The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions. The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.