Czech companies and institutions in the space industry visited the United Kingdom in the period 5-8 September 2022 with the support of the economic diplomacy of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London and the CzechInvest agency. Last year, an online B2B meeting between Czech and British companies and universities in the space industry took place for the first time. Therefore, this year there was something to follow up on.
The program was divided into two parts. First, a two-day mission was organised to Scotland to the industrial and second largest city Glasgow where most of the Scottish companies of this sector are located. This made it possible to visit two major small satellite manufacturers, AAC Clyde Space and Spire Global, who are already well established and among the leading players in the market. However, a visit to a startup and a manufacturer of so-called picosats, Alba Orbital, was also worth paying attention to as it has offered a fresh look at the world of start-up companies. Universities are among the main factors behind the success of the Scottish space industry. Therefore, the visits to the two main institutions – University of Glasgow (Space and Exploration Technology) and Strathclyde University (Centre for Space Science and Applications) – provided a very good insight into the functioning of the university system and research and can be considered for a certain model and inspiration for the Czech space industry. We were welcomed at the Glasgow Science Centre by the Scottish Minister for Trade, Ivan McKee, with whom we talked about the possibilities of a greater connection between the Czech and Scottish space industries. This was followed by the presentation of the new Scottish strategy for sustainability in the space sector, the Space Sustainability Roadmap, and a Czech-Scottish B2B networking event, where it was possible to deal directly with selected companies.
SpaceComm Expo was a two-day fair focused purely on space technologies and applications, and it was the first participation of the Czech national exposition at this fair. We were a surprise for the visitors who often did not know much about the Czech space industry. It was a significant step forward in the promotion of this very rapidly growing branch of the Czech economy. Companies had the opportunity to meet a whole range of firms, including the biggest players such as BAE Systems, Airbus, CGI, ThalesAlenia Space, Moog, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce, Serco and many others.
The Czech space industry companies participating in the event were: TRL Space, Brno Space Cluster, VZLU, Advacam, 5M, Huld, CORAC Engineering, Zaitra. The mission was led by Václav Kobera from the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Martin Dvořák. The Czech-British connection in the space industry is one of our priority activities, which is why we will continue to support it in the upcoming years.