The latest business to join tenants at Leicester’s new space technology complex has been announced.
Satellite Applications Catapult is taking room at Space Park Leicester, the £100 million, University of Leicester back hi-tech industrial space.
It joins organisations and businesses also moving in or connected to the facility including satellite phone company AST SpaceMobile, the European Space Agency, Hewlett Packard and Airbus.
The first part of the space park – which could eventually generate in the region of £750 million a year to the UK economy and lead to 2,500 jobs – will be an innovation, research and incubation facility for academics and private companies.
It is going up close to the National Space Centre on the northern outskirts of Leicester and much of the work done there will have an emphasis on analysing data sent down from satellites.
A second stage will have state-of-the-art robot and AI assisted laboratory facilities for research and development into low-cost satellite production. A later stage could include a low-cost satellite production line.
The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of nine similar bodies established in 2013 to drive economic growth in various areas of innovation.
The new office will support space tech companies within the space centre and the region as a whole.
The small team of experts will work with academics, entrepreneurs and businesses, focussing on different space industry activities, and in particular the commercialisation of earth observation data and technology.
It will take up its office there in August, acting as a Midlands base, and supporting its team in Harwell, Oxford.
Stuart Martin, chief executive of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “We are extremely excited by the announcement today, marking the start of the Catapult’s presence at Space Park Leicester.
“It provides another opportunity for businesses to benefit from the unique services the Catapult provides, and with the focus on Earth Observation data, ties in closely with much of the world-leading expertise at the University of Leicester.
“Huge congratulations are due to all the Leicester partners that have worked tirelessly to create this incredible facility.”
The Satellite Applications Catapult will also continue its work with the University of Leicester to support the design and manufacture of satellite technology and missions with real-world applications.
Nafeesa Dajda, head of the Satellite Applications Catapult’s regional growth team, said: “All the qualities that Space Park Leicester possesses will enable us to maximise the potential for us to do our work to continue to strengthen the potential for sustainable partnerships, collaboration and overall growth within our sector.
“The facility marks a significant and remarkable investment in a cluster focussed on space and satellites; and we are thrilled to be present in a common area to work with businesses and the university to foster new collaborations and partnerships.
“The fact that we will now be working in close-proximity with all of our Leicester partners will also add benefit to all stakeholders focused on satellite growth and overall UK space ambition.
“This physical presence further enhances our established innovation focussed partnerships with the University of Leicester.”
Space Park Leicester, which is supporting collaboration between university researchers and the private sector, is being led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Professor Sarah Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College for Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, the space park offers workspaces for companies ranging from single desks to secure offices.
She said: “We are delighted that the Satellite Applications Catapult has chosen Space Park Leicester as the base for their expansion plans.
“The University is proud of our established record in applying satellite technology and space-derived data to solve real-world problems, and this collaboration will continue this important approach to delivering transformational change.
“We look forward to welcoming the Catapult team as one of our first co-location partners.”
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