Blast off! Brexit Britain to become leading space faring nation as investments soar

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UK based space technology fund Seraphim Space Investment Trust has reported a 26 percent growth in its net assets since launching in July. The self-styled world’s first listed space technology fund has amassed a portfolio of 17 investments amounting to £99m. It also plans to invest in a further two companies by the end of the year. CEO Mark Boggett told Express.co.uk the fund had “hit the ground running”.

He explained the fund’s main focus would be investing in satellite technology which the group believes can be harnessed to solve a wide range of global problems.

Mr Boggett said the group were investing in “constellations of hundreds – if not thousands – of miniaturised satellites that will deliver enormous, unique global datasets and universal, abundant connectivity.”

He added: “We believe these capabilities are set to have a transformative impact on our world, powering many of the megatrends that will define societal change over the forthcoming decade and beyond.”

Seraphim see a key role for the UK in leading the way in this area. 

Chair of Seraphim Will Whitehorn describes the UK as “a leading space-faring nation.”

Mr Whitehorn said: “This resulted from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) taking charge of UK space regulation, which has worked with leading nations at the UN to develop the regulatory system for air traffic structure.

“In turn, this has given confidence to space tech companies to come to the UK and many of them are setting up operations on our shores.”

Seraphim has confirmed half of its portfolio is made up of UK companies.

It plans to see further satellite launches from Cornwall and the Shetland Islands in the near future.

Seraphim expects satellites will play a prominent role in the fight against climate change, given their ability to acquire key monitoring data.

It predicts technology will enable scientists to keep better track of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, pollution and melting of the polar ice caps.

Last week, at COP26, plans for the UK Space Agency to work with the UN were announced, including mapping action on climate change using technology.

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “The UK is leading the way in using satellites to monitor and tackle climate change and we are building trusted relationships between the UK space sector and international partners.”

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Seraphim points to the growing prominence of space.

The space sector is frequently making headlines, driven in part by the involvement of prominent figures such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

A 2020 survey by the UK Space Agency found the satellite industry contributed around £360 billion to UK GDP. 2021 data is being collected.

Mr Whitehorn said: “There is a new industrial revolution underway in space and this will be crucial to the survival of humanity if the global population continues to grow at its current pace.

“Innovation in space technology has dramatically opened up access to space and will be essential in addressing the most pressing problems for mankind, including natural disasters, climate change and food shortages.

“The work of both the UK government and business is leading the way in this revolution.”

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