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Space project takes off after sector conference

16 March 2017

Space project takes off after St Asaph sector conference

A SPACE project has taken off in North Wales following the success of a sector conference.

The OpTIC Technology centre in St Asaph hosted the second UK Space Industry event in the region, where more than 70 businesses, scientists, government representatives and defence companies met to discuss opportunities in the supply chain.

It followed the inaugural UK Space Agency (UKSA) gathering at OpTIC last summer.

The Denbighshire based technology complex - part of Wrexham Glyndwr University - landed a £50,000 grant from the UKSA last year, and aims to attract firms to take up incubation space in the building.

There they can capitalise on its engineering, metrology, R&D and incubation facilities and expertise to help grow their business.

Among the speakers were John Whalley, chief executive of Aerospace Wales Forum; the UKSA’s head of Space Technology Strategy, Nick Cox; Andy Cunningham, UK Defence Solutions Centre, and Paul Williams, director of ISP International Space Propulsion.

OpTIC director Caroline Gray said those in attendance welcomed the themes of the day, and positive collaborations were already in the pipeline.

“This was an opportunity to showcase what we have on offer here at OpTIC – namely our incubation centre and the support we can offer firms with an initiative they want to develop,” said Caroline.

“We had some top speakers and everyone was passionate about the UK’s position – and that of the OpTIC Centre – in growing the industry in North Wales and beyond.

“There are many benefits to being based here with us and we now have the funding to help launch the spark of an idea and support it through technology, design, metrology and incubation, tailoring these services to deliver what these companies need.”

She added: “The UKSA utilises many different supply chains with companies operating in fields of engineering design and manufacture, software design, energy management and more, so I would urge people in those areas to get in touch with us to see how we can work together and capitalise on this grant.”

The event was attended and promoted by Denbighshire County Council as part of its March for Business month, a series of free networking and advice sessions to provide support to businesses, part of the Council’s work to grow the local economy, create more quality jobs and to increase household incomes.

For more information on the OpTIC Centre, visit

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.