The Airbus-led space industry consortium for future UK military satellite communications had more than 100 SMEs take part in its recent online event.
The consortium is focusing on the UK’s prosperity agenda with a commitment to grow the UK SME eco-system within the UK space industry. The consortium, comprising KBR, Leidos UK, Northrop Grumman and QinetiQ spends more than £5.8 billion annually in the UK supply chain.
During the online event held at the beginning of December, Airbus and its partners hosted speakers from the consortium, the MOD and existing SMEs in the supply chain. Topics included an SME viewpoint of the sector, supply chain requirements and how a small, innovative business can prepare itself better. The event also covered collaboration with SMEs from a UK government perspective and why an innovative supply chain is important to Airbus and its partners.
Richard Franklin, managing director, Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “Our vision for future milsatcoms for the UK is aligned to government policy in making a major contribution to the UK’s prosperity agenda, building up space capability and engagement across the SME community. Through our consortium we already count more than 2,350 SMEs among our supply chain and we are looking to bring more on board, bringing both innovative products and solutions but more importantly new ways of thinking. This will not only benefit the services the consortium can deliver but also expand the number of companies across the UK involved in the space economy and further strengthen sovereignty and value for money.”
In June the consortium launched its call “Open Innovation – Space” to encourage SMEs to see how they could contribute. In its first six months more than 100 companies were in touch, to offer ideas on how they could bring their expertise to improve mission critical communication services and associated space, ground and management segments.
Franklin continued: “The Open Innovation – Space initiative is still open and I am looking forward to even more companies signing up to see how they can contribute to the future of secure communications for the UK’s armed forces. We encourage those interested to visit www.openinnovationspace.uk.”