East Midlands space industry to receive significant boost through major European research collaboration

The space industry in the East Midlands will receive a significant boost thanks to a major new research collaboration between the county of Leicestershire and the Piemonte region in Italy.

Yesterday (Tuesday 17 July), our University, together with the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and the National Space Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formally mark the start of the collaborative links with the Centro Estero per l'Internazionalizzazione s.c.p.a. Piemonte representing the Piemonte region in Italy.

The collaboration, which highlights the pioneering initiatives being created through Space Park Leicester, will allow for greater transfer of knowledge between the UK and Europe, providing enhanced mobility to leading experts from Leicestershire in the field of space research to work across both regions and share expertise.

The Signing Ceremony took place at the Farnborough Airshow (16 – 20 July 2018), which sees aerospace attendees from over 100 countries network, collaborate and discuss the future of the UK space industry.

Professor Richard Ambrosi from our Department of Physics and Astronomy said: “Building international partnerships focusing on the key building blocks of research, skills, innovation, industrialisation and public engagement is a core principle of the Space Park Leicester project. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with our partners in Europe.”

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “At Leicester, our renowned space scientists have a long-held reputation for conducting world-class research. This new international partnership will provide opportunities for collaboration and innovation, working closely with colleagues throughout the city and county, as well as overseas.

"Initiatives such as Space Park Leicester help to drive academic collaboration, showcasing the research capability of the University of Leicester and allowing us to form new partnerships, explore the commercial and transformative aspects of our research, and most importantly, create new opportunities that set our students apart."

The Farnborough Airshow provides a global stage for businesses, where a history rich in pioneering visionaries meets with cutting-edge innovation. The show attracts 100,000 trade and public visitors biennially, from multi-national organisations, the UK aerospace industry, SMEs and more.

Piemonte is strategically positioned at the heart of the European development system, right at the crossroads of the main routes between the North-South, East-West. Italy is Europe’s 2nd largest manufacturer and Piemonte has strongly contributed to its success.