Google Hangout: Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk urged to enter the race for space contracts

This handout photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the

This handout photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969 - Credit: AP

Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk are being urged to take advantage of lucrative contract opportunities within the UK space sector as part of an event championing the region's top innovators.

The sector is currently worth £11bn to the UK economy while the UK Space Agency has outlined plans to reach £40bn by 2030.

And it is targeting businesses locally to raise awareness of the opportunities available which range from technology for use in space expeditions to satellite-based industries which can be used on the ground.

Officials will be holding a masterclass into the opportunities available at New Anglia Enterprise Partnership's iexpo event on October 20.

But ahead of the event, they took park in a video-stream interview – or 'Google Hangout', hosted by Shaun Lowthorpe, business publishing editor at Archant, publishers of the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times.

Topics discussed included business opportunities presented by the industry, spanning areas as diverse as energy, information, communication and technology, advanced manufacturing and engineering, agri-tech and life sciences. The interview, which is now available on Youtube took place on Tuesday October 6 and also featured a range of questions from businesses looking to find out more.

Colin Baldwin, UK space gateway programme manager at the UK Space Agency, said: 'The UK space sector is a success story, with growth averaging 8pc per annum over the past decade. The sector has an ambitious target to quadruple in size between 2010 and 2030 to a turnover of £40bn per annum. iExpo 2015 will allow us to highlight the ways space can help companies in New Anglia to grow.'

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More than 450 visitors are expected at the iExpo event, which takes place at Centrum, Norwich Research Park on Tuesday October 20.

Exhibitors will include Hexcam, the aerial drone photography company, and Suffolk-based Minima Design, which develops prototypes for the healthcare and telecoms industries.

There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the Future50 programme, which features up to £50,000 of grant support available to businesses looking to create jobs.

• For more information visit New Anglia.