Space Hub Yorkshire – Based in Leeds

Space Hub Yorkshire is a collaboration of our region’s industries, universities and regional governments, funded by the government and backed by the UK Space Agency.

Do you think of Space when you turn on your TV, use your car’s satnav, or make a mobile phone call? Space technology facilitates the daily lives of us all. It connects us all, from our national and international security to monitoring disasters, from understanding climate change to informing us about crop yields, floods, and forest fires. I for one certainly undervalue Space. Do I take it for granted? I suppose so!

Space Hub Yorkshire and the Science and Media Museum Team at Bradford Broadway

Space Hub Yorkshire is here to create opportunities to inspire our young people, and to show them the route to working in the Space industry, for example through AI, satellite data, fundamental scientific research and satellite communications. It is here to help add their talents to the pool of expertise in the industry, whether as engineers, technicians, administrators, researchers, scientists or software developers. It is also here to create opportunities for our businesses to use Space technology to create new services and products.

Space is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, and the National Space Strategy demonstrates the continuing importance of the sector – where connections forged with universities will help fill skills gaps, encourage investment and research, and bring the Space sector to a wider audience by welcoming more businesses to the Leeds and the Yorkshire region.

Partnerships amongst businesses, academics and local government are creating a driving and vibrant Space Cluster in Yorkshire. The space industry already employs around 42,000 people in the UK at the time of writing, generating a surprising income of almost £15 billion each year. The potential is vast.

Space Hub Yorkshire’s Prof Anna Hogg and Glenn McCauley presenting in 202

In 2023, the UK Space Agency brought a rocket to Bradford City Centre to encourage people to find out more about careers in the sector. Nexus – in partnership with the University of Leeds – hosted two space conferences, with over 1,000 people participating from both industrial and academic backgrounds, who discussed a wide range of topics, from sinkholes to tectonics.

In September 2023, the European Space Agency co-organised its FRINGE conference with the University of Leeds and supported by Space Hub Yorkshire; a conference which attracted over 450 delegates from over 40 countries, aimed to advance the Science and Applications of SAR Interferometry and Sentinel-1 (an ESA satellite mission, part of the Copernicus Initiative). SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) is a form of radar that can penetrate cloud cover, and InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) utilises interferometry, a technique used to map ground movement with SAR.

Space Hub Yorkshire at the ESA FRINGE 2023 conference at the University of Leeds Campus

The Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI is working with the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, on developing a product to process AI in Space, and their mini satellite is scheduled for launch into orbit this year

Yorkshire is a powerhouse of manufacturing and has one of the fastest growing digital sectors in the UK, while Leeds is the second largest financial and legal centre in England – second only to London. So to ensure that the region also makes an emphatic and long-lasting mark on the Space industry, Space Hub Yorkshire’s remit is to co-ordinate Space activity, act as a catalyst for new satellite data markets and applications, develop sources of expertise, facilitate new collaborations, drive investment, champion start-ups in Space, and advocate research and industry opportunities. It is a significant role in our push for a more secure future and one which will, quite literally, open up a new world for the people and businesses of Yorkshire.

The launch event for UK-EONS, hosted by Space Hub Yorkshire in January 2024

These are dynamic times; often bewildering, even daunting, but with initiatives in Space and Space Hub Yorkshire’s ambitions and drive, they can also be exciting and exhilarating times. With our region’s place in helping grow GDP, we are wondering if the sky really is the limit

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