This morning Space Florida and UK Trade & Investment signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate beneficial commercial space opportunities between the State of Florida and the UKâ€™s aerospace and commercial space industries. This is the first commercial MOU between Space Florida and a sovereign government and a further practical example of the close UK-US trade relationship.
The MOU between Space Floridaâ€”the organization designed to grow Floridaâ€™s aerospace industryâ€”and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)â€”the British government division that helps UK-based companies suceed internationally and brings high-quality investment to the UKâ€”seeks to advance Florida and the UKâ€™s growing commercial space sectors by establishing a conduit to pursue business opportunities in both markets.
Specifically, Space Florida and UKTI will identify and share commercial and partnership opportunities of interest to Space Florida and UKTI constituencies, and make introductions or arrange networking opportunities with potential strategic partners and investors that might benefit from such collaboration, among other commitments.
â€œStrategic, international partnerships are critical to the viability and growth of future U.S. commercial space programs,â€ noted Space Florida President Frank DiBello. â€œTodayâ€™s event marks a significant step forward toward ensuring Floridaâ€™s numerous space assets â€“ both physical and intellectual â€“ are leveraged by the global space marketplace.â€
Director-General, Trade & Investment USA, Sir Alan Collins said: â€œThe commercial space industry is a major growth opportunity for the UK. Since 2009 the UK has been ramping up its space industry activities opening the European Space Agencyâ€™s R&D facility at Harwell, establishing the UK Space Agency and forming the Space Leadership Council. With a goal to grow Britainâ€™s share of the world space market from 6% to 10% over the next 20 years, collaboration and partnerships such as this are crucial to the UKâ€™s achieving its ambitions. For Floridaâ€™s space industry companies, the UK is the natural partner of choice with whom to explore R&D opporunities globally as it offers a springboard into the European markets and the world.â€
Space exploration currently represents an $8 billion industry in Florida, with more than 2,000 related companies and a 65,000+ person workforce. Florida currently captures 3% of the global space marketplace and, through State organizations like Space Florida, is positioning itself to gain a much broader share of international commercial space business. No other region of the world has the aerospace infrastructure and talent or prime geographic positioning to deliver what Florida can.
The UKâ€™s commercial space industry is similarly poised for robust growth. Britain currently has a 6% share of the global space market, but the sector is growing by an average of 9% per year, and the UK already leads the world in satellite manufacturing and space applications. The industry as a whole is worth around Â£7 billion to the economy. Additionally, the UK is a world leader in innovation, ranking second only to the USA for the quality of its research base, and is the number one gateway to Europe for US companies overseas, giving easy access to the 27 member states of the European Union from within one of the worldâ€™s most stable political environments.
About Florida-United Kingdom Commercial Relations
Florida and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $2.8 billion. The UK is the leading source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Florida in terms of jobs created, with UK firms employing more than 45,200 Floridians and $3.9 billion in capital stock invested in 2009. At present around 335 UK subsidiaries operate in Florida â€“ around one-third of all UK firms in the United States.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UKâ€™s economy â€“ acknowledged as Europeâ€™s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information visit: www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk
About Space Florida
Space Florida was created to strengthen Floridaâ€™s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. It is dedicated to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses through â€œVision 2020â€ – a strategy that will target 10 commercial markets in the coming years that will fully utilize Floridaâ€™s space launch and processing capabilities, existing skilled workforce, and infrastructure assets. For more information, visit www.spaceflorida.gov