iSat Line

Google+ Badge

I visited the Satellite Catapult to attend the SME day last Friday. The UK’s Satellite industry is already a significant and profitable contributor to the UK economy and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is looking to expand upon that success. This is clearly a very genuine effort to encourage growth in the satellite industry. Never before has the UK’s government focused so heavily on our industry and made it such a strategic priority. So what will our industry’s role be in Britain’s future?

There are some growth strategies the government’s best placed to implement. You may say they should be working to help the industry anyway, but with strategic focus it should get done quicker. Regulatory changes to allow the development of space ports and allow foreign companies to see their developments would be welcomed here. Influence with ITU and increased ESA funding (which should come back our way). All good stuff.

What I also admire is that they are not directly spending money or picking winners. They facilitate introductions to funding through the Satellite Finance Network. We all know “The City” raises money – like the debt finance- for Apple, and the IPO of the Post Office. What is also a “truism” is the difficulty in raising small amounts of finance for small business. The Catapult is connecting smaller business with investors eager for a return in the fast growing SME sector- and with a turnover of £30Bn by 2030 it is attracting a lot of interest.

On the other hand, expanding the current exports from £2Bn now to £25Bn by 2030 is a daunting prospect. Can the governmental environment really have such a huge impact? In conclusion- I’m really happy to be in satellite at the moment, and iSat has huge experience in export to Africa and Middle East, and is excited by the prospect of increasing business to these regions.