The 2019 UK Space Conference, which is the first major global conference to be held at Wales’ new International Convention Centre (ICCW), will be formally launched today by Economy Minister, Ken Skates.
The UK Space Conference is well established as the most important and influential event for space in the UK.
This 5th event of its kind, brings together key figures from the space community including government, academia and industry to exchange ideas, share plans, develop relationships and seek inspiration to thrive in the new space age.
This is the first time that the Space Conference has been held in Wales, with the organisers choosing to base their event at the impressive new conference facilities situated directly next to the Celtic Manor in Newport.
The ICCW has been developed through a Joint Venture between the Welsh Government and The Celtic Manor Resort Ltd, in order to create an iconic conference venue in South Wales.
It is estimated the ICCW could bring £70 million a year into the Welsh economy, while the economic impact to the local area of all the events booked so far at the centre is around £22 million.
In a clear show of Welsh Government support for the space sector, Ken Skates has also announced funding for two projects to capitalise on new emerging opportunities.
Snowdonia Aerospace will receive £135,000 Welsh Government funding for a project at Llanbedr Airfield for the testing and flying of unmanned aircraft, electric aircraft and space planes.
B2Space has also been awarded £100,000 to establish in Wales and utilise Llanbedr to explore the possibility of using stratospheric balloons to launch nano satellites.
Wales aims to generate 5% of the UK space industry’s turnover – a £2 billion opportunity per annum – by 2030.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
I am delighted the 5th UK Space Conference is being held at the International Conference Centre in Newport and extend a very warm welcome to Wales to the UK space community and our international guests.
The impact of ICCW in delivering a new business tourism centre, in addition to providing employment and supply chain opportunities, is to be celebrated and it’s great this event is taking place here.
The Welsh Government is committed to supporting the continued growth of the space sector in Wales which will create jobs and provide a real boost to the Welsh economy.
Wales already has a strong advanced manufacturing and technology base with specific strengths in sectors that share elements of the space industry supply chain, such as photonics, aerospace, secure communications and software systems.
We can also offer a safe and proven test and evaluation environment in locations such as Pendine Sands, Parc Aberporth and Llanbedr Airfield and I am very pleased to announce funding today for 2 important projects there.
Wales offers a unique physical and business environment to companies in the sector and the growth and commercial exploitation of the Space Sector is vital to our future success.