There are over 1,700 people currently employed in the space sector in the North East. We also have a thriving software sector that employs over 32,500 people with expertise in data analytics, which directly supports satellite applications. 

Our strong digital ecosystem is enhanced by our five universities and their world-leading research excellence in computer science and informatics. There are 67,000 Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in the region and we have the highest number of computer sciences students in England. 

Durham University is ranked sixth in the world for space science, and has been a key contributor to the intellectual pool, along with other universities in the region.

Durham University engages with the space sector principally through the Departments of Geography and Physics, both of which are highly placed in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022 – Geography 3rd, Physics 4th).  Durham University shares facilities with several space-sector businesses at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) maintains extensive laboratories and clean rooms there.

Durham University are supporting businesses through their collaboration with SPRINT, which enables them to work collaboratively with SMEs to access potential funding and expertise.

There are more than 200 university courses in the region are relevant to the space and satellite applications sectors. We have well-regarded maths, physics, electronics and engineering degrees and offer specialist courses in geospatial, robotics, automation and data science subjects.

Our universities also deliver highly prestigious training and research programmes – such as the Centre for Doctoral Training in Geospatial Systems and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Fusion Science at Durham University and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cloud Computing for Big Data at Newcastle University– that give companies access to the highest calibre of graduates. Our universities have huge strengths when it comes to space research.

The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence is one of only five of its kind in the UK and has direct support from the UK Space Agency.

These outstanding facilities enable space and satellite applications companies locating to the North East the ability to gain a competitive advantage in a global market.