Skip to content


Durham welcomes annual North East Space Conference

Companies are being encouraged to take advantage of a space convention that could open up a new galaxy of work.


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

This year’s North East Space Conference takes place on March 22 at Radisson Blu, in Durham City, and will explore space sector priorities through a series of presentations and informative discussions.

With satellites being used in many parts of our everyday lives, there are increasing opportunities for companies to move into – and grow across – the sector. 

The conference will explore how satellites are used in 5G communications, to create smart cities, and used for remote sensing and monitoring.   

Speakers from industry, public sector and academia will discuss a wide range of topics, from how companies are developing solutions to deal with space debris to, among other things, generating solar energy in space.

A number of early-stage businesses, which have raised $40 million, will be sharing their experiences, and leading global space technology investor Seraphim Capital will speak about its work in supporting 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 nine years to grow the sector in the region. 

The industry now includes more than 50 companies in the North East, with a workforce of almost 1400 people and income generated of more than £113 million.

Councillor Amanda Hopgood, leader of Durham County Council, says: “We are delighted to welcome businesses and industry representatives from the space sector to Durham for the North East Space Conference. 

“It 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.

“NESACoE 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 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, previously announced it is exploring options for a new facility in the North East.

Nik Smith, regional director for UK and Europe at Lockheed Martin Space, says: “We are committed to making the UK one of the most prosperous and capable space sectors in the world, and recognise the rich talent that sits within the North East.

“With more than 500 existing suppliers across the UK – 75 per cent 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 is another sponsor.

Colin Bain, the institution’s pro-vice chancellor (research), adds: “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.”

The conference is also being sponsored by Invest North East England and Northumbria University.