The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence (NESACoE) is inviting businesses to learn more about the growing space industry in the North East at its upcoming conference next month.

This year’s North East Space Conference is being held on 22nd March at Radisson Blu in Durham and will explore the current priorities for the space sector in a series of presentations and informative discussions. This years conference is being sponsored by the global aerospace and security company, Lockheed Martin, Invest North East England, Durham University and Northumbria University.

A number of early-stage businesses, which have raised $40 million in total, will be sharing their experiences of raising investment, these are four of the up and coming European space companies recently listed in Sifted’s Spacetech report. Leading global space technology investors Seraphim Capital, will be speaking about the work they do to support space entrepreneurship from inception to exit.

NESACoE, delivered by Business Durham – the business support service for Durham County Council, has received funding from the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency over the last 9 years to grow the sector in the region. The sector now includes over 50 companies in the North East with a workforce of almost 1,400 people and income generated of more than £113 million and it is continuing to grow.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome businesses and industry representatives from the space sector to Durham for The North East Space Conference. The conference will be a great opportunity for businesses already in the space sector and those that are keen to get more involved to hear first-hand about the very latest developments and opportunities from experts in the sector.

“The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence has played an important role in the growth of the region’s space sector. Based at the region’s premier science and technology park – North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, the centre is led by the council’s business support service, Business Durham and strives to champion opportunities in the region and connect businesses to provide new expertise into the industry.”

Lockheed Martin, which is sponsoring this year’s event announced last year that it is exploring options for a new facility in the North East. Nik Smith, Regional Director for UK and Europe, Lockheed Martin Space said: “We are committed to making the UK one of the most prosperous and capable space sectors in the world and we recognise the rich talent that sits within the North East. With more than 500 existing suppliers across the UK, 75 percent of them being SMEs, we’re thrilled to sponsor the Annual North East Space Conference as we progress our investment options and look for new partners.”

Durham University are also sponsoring the conference. Colin Bain, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), Durham University, said: “We have been at the cutting-edge of space research for many years and have an outstanding reputation in space science. We are delighted to be able to connect with industry and showcase our expertise, including our Centre for Advanced Instrumentation based at the Orbit University Enterprise Zone on NETPark, which has manufacturing, integration and test facilities for space instruments and optics.”

Other sponsors include Northumbria University and Invest North East England.