UK Space Conference 2023 Preview

by | 21 Nov 2023 | Blog Posts

This week marks the beginning of one of the most important events on the UK space calendar. Delegates of organisations from across the globe are expected to descend on the ICC in Belfast for 3 days from the 21st to the 23rd of November. For the first time ever, the UK Space Conference is coming to Northern Ireland, a move which has been years in the making and will no doubt be a catalyst for the local space industry. Firms across the country are aiming to make the most of the historic event and boost engagement with the wider space ecosystem.
The riverside venue for the UK Space Conference 2023- via ICC Belfast

NI Space

In the lead up to the conference, there has been a buzz about Northern Ireland with the announcement of NI Space. The newly formed regional space cluster is backed by the UK Space Agency and will no doubt be working closely with Invest NI to develop the local space economy and ensure the national capabilities are ready to meet the coming wave of space commercialisation head on. The organisation is headed up by cluster manager Robert Hill, the architect behind the biennial space conference making its way to Northern Ireland for the first time ever. The significance of the location cannot be overstated as this event is exactly what is needed to highlight to the rest of the world the potential opportunities in NI and bring much needed attention to some of the engineering excellence available. NI Space will be exhibiting in hall two at NI stand alongside a hand selected group of Northern Irish space companies including Springco.
Announcing the UK’s latest space cluster – via NI Space

An international affair

While the name may be deceiving, the UK Space Conference does in fact feature representation from across the world. Being such an interconnected industry which is so dependent on cooperation and collaboration, space has always been a  topic which brings nations together. This is the one area with the potential to transcend borders and facilitate projects which most countries could not dream of alone. This year at the ICC is no different as, for the first time ever, the heads of all the major western space forces will be represented. France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the USA and of course the UK will all be in attendance to discuss the future defence landscape and opportunities for building global partnerships to ensure a safe and secure future.
Defence will be among the many global issues tackled this year – via UK Space Command

Key players

The conference is heralded as a pivotal event in part due to the scale and stature of the exhibitors and sponsors. Led by the UK Space Agency, the list of organisations attending and supporting. All the largest companies in the UK commercial space landscape such as Airbus, Thales Alenia Space and BAE Systems will be playing a role. In addition there is representation from Europe in the form of the European Space Agency as well as from the US via Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Locally, Newry based Resonate Testing will be exhibiting and InvestNI is the local sponsor and are responsible for a great deal of the organising involved in bringing the conference to Northern Ireland. The previously mentioned InvestNI stand will host a number of space companies from across the country. They are as follows:

  • KX – Trusted provider of vector database technology for defence and space
  • Skytek – Experts in the development of process management systems
  • CSIT – Specialists in cyber security
  • IceMOS Technology Corporation – Electromechanical system manufacturer
  • CCP Gransden – Advanced composites engineering firm
  • ANGOKA – A unique Internet of Things (IoT) security company
  • Denroy – A ward winning plastic manufacturer

And of course featuring on the stand will be Springco, a manufacturer of advanced spring technology with a rich history of supplying the space industry. Be sure not to miss the Springco stall or any of the companies on show at Invest NI across all 3 days at the ICC this week.