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UK Tech Cluster Report: SpaceTech in the South East

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The UK Tech Cluster Group is led by representatives of the key digital clusters across the UK (Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Newcastle, etc). Its aim is to support the thriving clusters outside London. The Group collaborates regularly on research, events, and policy initiatives, providing leadership and valuable regional intelligence to policymakers at all levels.

From Brighton to Oxford, Maidstone to Southampton; the South East’s tech success isn’t fuelled by one city or specialism, but by its long-standing tradition for diversity, collaboration and innovation.


Space is a fast-growing industry, and the UK is on track to own 10% of the world market by 2030. The South East is at the epicentre of this growth. Clustered mainly around the Harwell Complex in Oxfordshire and in Guildford, Surrey, the space tech sector in the region employs approx 97,000 and hosts successful space tech specialists both upstream - launching the tech into space - and downstream - using space data to create new products and services. 

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Location: Guildford

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is a world-leading small satellite company, delivering space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science, communications, in-orbit debris removal and servicing, and exploration beyond Earth’s infrastructure. Created by a group of researchers from the University of Surrey, SSTL is now helping provide sustainable Lunar data-relay services for communication and navigation around the Moon. The work will enable surface missions operating on the far side of the Moon, without direct to Earth line of sight, to keep constant contact with Earth.

As a spinout company from the University of Surrey, we benefit from a continuing relationship with theUniversity, and the cluster of space tech companies here. With transport links to London and the space tech hub in Harwell, and also to international customers via Heathrow and Gatwick, it’s an ideal spot for us.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting FRS FREng, Executive Chairman, SSTL


Location: Didcot
Established: 2013

OceanMind is an Oxford-based non-profit organisation that creates advanced technologies such as satellites and AI to empower and enforce compliance to protect the world’s fisheries. Its strategy is hinged upon environmental conservation and human rights – preserving marine biodiversity, protecting livelihoods and preventing slavery in the seafood industry.

OceanMind started as part of the Satellite Applications Catapult based at Harwell Innovation & Science Campus. Although a global organisation, we chose to stay at Harwell due to the growing and thriving Campus community, which encourages creativity and innovation whilst providing easy access from London and other areas of the UK.

Inga Wise, Director of Business Operations & Outreach, Oceanmind



Location: Oxford
Established: 2013

Founded in 2013, multi-award-winning Astroscale has been developing and operating their innovative  In-Orbit Servicing Control Centre at Harwell since 2017.  From Harwell, they manage ground stations around the world with a goal to ensure the safe management and removal of space debris. 

Astroscale UK has a  global vision to be the first private company to secure the safe and sustainable development of outer space for the benefit of future generations, and the only company dedicated to in-orbit satellite servicing across all orbits. We chose Harwell as it gave us a strategic location to grow our UK business rapidly on a world class campus in the South East.

John Auburn, MD Astroscale UK and Group Chief Commercial Officer


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Established Leaders
Ones to Watch 

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With thanks to our regional sponsor, EY Breakthrough Incentives