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Space Park Leicester lands top science award

The ambition of Space Park Leicester to become a world-leading centre of excellence has been recognised at a highly prestigious awards ceremony.

The ground-breaking £100 million research, innovation and teaching hub for space-related high-tech companies and researchers based in the city was presented with the ‘Place-Based Initiative of the Year’ accolade at the 2021 KE Awards.

The awards celebrate and ‘amplify’ the achievements of the knowledge exchange profession, embodying the sector’s high standards and recognising the people, partnerships, deals and initiatives that generate world-class activity. 

Place-Based Initiative of the Year 2021 Winner

Space Park Leicester – which is being led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) – impressed judges for its vision and ambition.

The 2021 KE Award winners were announced at a digital ceremony on November 18, hosted by PraxisAuril and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation. Space Park Leicester’s award was presented by Fariba Soetan from The National Centre for Universities and Business.

Speaking on a video as part of the award entry, William Wells, Commercial Director at the University of Leicester, said: “Space Park Leicester is a 10,000m2 urban, science and innovation campus on the edge of Leicester city centre. When we conceived of it five years ago, we saw it as a world-leading hub for space and space-enabled researchers, students and industry.

“The hub is underpinned by the world-leading research that’s taking place here at Leicester within the realms of space, science and instrumentation, but also the exploitation of satellite data and images.

“We are looking to create an environment where we can interact with our industrial and commercial partners, creating open-access facilities for them to use in terms of labs, clean rooms and collaborative spaces.

“We are driving for a number of things, new research collaborations but also building on existing research collaborations. Crucially we are trying to create a novel innovation environment where we can host and indeed incubate businesses within the space park environment while driving economic activity in our city and county.

The KE Awards, organised by PraxisAuril and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation, celebrate the people who help to initiate and deliver impact and outcomes from publicly funded research through a diverse range of partners and activities.

Developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with local, national and international partners, Space Park Leicester comprises a 4,800m2 facility featuring offices, shared laboratories, teaching facilities and co-working spaces, focusing primarily on research, development and applications of space. The project enables collaboration between University researchers and the private sector, creating high quality knowledge-based jobs, building the skills base and contributing to economic growth and resilience of the economy. Space Park Leicester also proudly hosts the NERC-affiliated National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO).