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Investment, Brexit and the challenge of IP for the UK space industry

Space tech

Michael Vallance, an associate at London-based intellectual property firm Gill Jennings & Every LLP, on the challenges being faced by the UK’s space sector.

The UK government is investing heavily into space technology as part of its economic strategy. For example, this year alone, two separate grants from the UK Space Agency – worth a combined £23.5m –  have been awarded to Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company, to develop a new spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.

The proposed spaceport is an example of the government’s ambitious plans for the UK space sector but also a tipping-point for Scottish presence in a sector that has long had its foothold in the South East of the UK. Private sector investment into this sector has also been significant – for example, with the launch of venture capital fund Seraphim this year, who are solely focused on the space sector....