18 July 2017 – Shefali Sharma, from the Business Development Team at Oxford Space Systems (OSS), has been selected by the UK Department for International Trade, the UK Space Agency and the Space Growth Partnership, as the UK space industry’s secondee to India. The secondment which runs from July to October will assess the scope and scale of market opportunities for UK space companies to export to India, as well as assess the appetite for Indian investment in to the UK.
Shefali explained: “India is one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world and this includes its space sector. Its ambition to become a global leader in the space sector offers exciting opportunities for both UK space technologies and services. I’m very excited and feel privileged to have been selected to represent the UK.”
During her three month secondment, Shefali will also continue in her role at OSS. “It’ll be tough, effectively having two jobs, but with the support of DIT as well as my OSS colleagues, it’ll be a tiring but highly productive few months.”
Dr Jaime Reed from the Space Growth Partnership explained the significance of this secondment: ‘’The UK has world-class space companies, but will only achieve its exciting growth ambition by reaching into new market opportunities. This pilot activity will help us to develop a new approach in partnership between UK industry and government demonstrating the power of working together. Shefali is the right person for this challenge as she is already involved in a number of SGP work-streams and as such, has solid knowledge of the UK’s strengths. She will play a critical role in helping DIT quantify services and manufacturing export opportunities in India for UK space companies.’’
Founder and CEO, Mike Lawton, explained the rationale behind the company’s decision to support this secondment. “The current space scene in India has a lot of positive volatility judging the number and nature of enquiries we receive at OSS. Many new Indian space companies are being founded to address the emerging markets in the space domain. I’m keen to explore collaborative relationships with like-minded entrepreneurial companies. They’re generally not laden with decades of legacy attitudes and are hungry to make their mark in the world. By working in a collaborative way with India in both upstream and downstream opportunities, we’ll accelerate the growth of the UK space sector to achieve its growth targets.’’