Satellite applications sector flourishing in North East

John Hildreth, Andrea Stephenson, and Stuart Martin

25 February 2016 – MORE than 50 North East businesses got to hear first-hand how they can benefit from the growth of the UK space sector which is expected to reach £40bn by 2030.

Delegates at the Satellite Applications Catapult Roadshow event, which took place at The Core, in Newcastle Science Central, were given an insight into how companies of all shapes and sizes can tap into business opportunities within the global space sector.

Key themes throughout the day included showcasing opportunities within the maritime, marine and offshore energy sectors where satellite data and technology could be used to create new products and services for the market.

Businesses heard from keynote speakers from the Catapult, the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, based at NETPark, Sedgefield, and the Marine Management Organisation.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult said: “It’s been fantastic to see such a broad range of space and satellite applications expertise within the North East, and gives me great confidence that the sector is flourishing here in the region. We heard from a number of local companies who have the transferrable skills and expertise to realise commercial success within the space sector which, for me, is really exciting to see.”

The event also saw the announcement of the official call for applications for the 2016 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), the Copernicus Masters and the new competition being launched by the Catapult on behalf of the space sector.

Last year’s ESNC winner was enjoyed by Tyneside-based Realsafe Technologies and the region also secured the UK runner-up prize through Bishop Auckland-based FarmWatcherUK.

Andrea Stephenson, director of FarmWatcherUK said: “We’re an SME developing new products and services underpinned by satellite GPS technology into a global market place from right here in the North East. The support provided by the Catapult and North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence is allowing us to accelerate our journey to commercialising new products and services.

“There are certainly opportunities for anyone with an innovative idea and there is always an opportunity to connect to buyers on a global scale. It doesn’t matter where you are based and how advanced your firm is, you can be of any stage of your business journey. If you have the innovation, desire and energy then the satellite sector has space for you.”

The Catapult Roadshow was supported by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, which is based at NETPark, Sedgefield, County Durham.

John Hildreth, director of the centre, said: “Events like today bring together a wealth of industrial and academic expertise from across the region to help realise new commercial opportunities in a sector that is seeing significant year-on-year growth. The support offered by the Catapult and the Centre of Excellence means we are adding real economic value to the North East industrial base.”

Any companies wishing to enter the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2016 should visit: http://www.esnc.eu