Aerospace and space

Engineering the future

Historically, the world looked to Scotland for our trains and ships – now it’s our satellites.

Scotland’s strong background in advanced engineering, including R&D, design and manufacturing has a tradition of attracting high-technology companies.

But now we're as likely to be engineering software, as well as significant, complex and sophisticated projects - like maintaining the new generation of aircraft and pioneering new ways of forming advanced materials. And we also have a thriving space sector here, including satellite manufacture.

That enduring strength, as well as our experienced skills base and a competitive cost structure, has helped to build an internationally-recognised space industry that employs over 7,000 highly-skilled people. 

With year on growth projected above 6%, Scotland has the ambition to grow its role in space from a modest industry today to a £4 billion industry by 2030.

Find out how we can help your business invest in Scotland.

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Who's already in Scotland?

With so much to offer, it's no wonder Scotland has drawn so many global industry names, so you'll be in good company if you locate here.

  • Axon Cable
  • BAE Systems Regional Aircraft
  • Chevron Aircraft Maintenance
  • Fluid Gravity Engineering
  • GE Caledonian
  • Ion Concept Systems Group 
  • Leonardo
  • Raytheon
  • Rolls Royce
  • Spire
  • Spirit Aerosystems
  • TomTom Software
  • UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Vector Aerospace
  • Veripos
  • W. L. Gore and Associates
  • Woodward Group

An aircraft centre of excellence

Chevron Aircraft Maintenance recently chose Prestwick Airport as the location for its new centre of excellence, and it's no surprise.

The airport is already home to a cluster of key players in the aerospace industry. In addition, the airport gives the company access to a pool of highly skilled and qualified workers, along with an established programme of training support provided by local universities and further education colleges.

Why Chevron chose Scotland


We have lift-off

Scotland's space sector is soaring.

Did you know that in the last two years, Glasgow has built more satellites than any other city in Europe?

Thanks to Scotland's established strengths in engineering, science and technology, our small country punches above its weight when it comes to the space industry. 

Scottish products and services are sold to a range of international customers, including the Chinese National Space Administration and RosCosmos of Russia. Key products include:

  • Space Wire – the language which allows different systems on spacecraft to communicate with each other
  • Space thermal batteries that function under extreme conditions
  • UKube-1, the UK Space Agency's first CubeSat mission, launched aboard a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket


Forming and forging ahead

The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies and metal forming and forging research.

The AFRC helps companies like yours de-risk and accelerate the introduction of new technologies, materials and processes. 

In addition to the world-class facilities, AFRC can draw upon the wider capabilities and expertise of the University of Strathclyde. 

Find out more about the AFRC

Discover a Scotland full of wonderful surprises – an international Scotland in so many guises.

International sector head - Mark Newlands

We have offices in 20 countries, staffed by teams who can talk you through Scotland’s capabilities and the funding support that may be available to you.

Tell us a bit about your business and a specialist from your region or sector will get back to you.

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