The Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA), based at University of Strathclyde, has secured funding to continue its mission for another three years.
Launched in 2014, SoXSA focuses on the use of satellite-derived data to challenge conventional ideas and develop new concepts in the exploitation of space to improve life on earth. Companies across the UK are increasingly looking to space data to inform their businesses – gaining insights into a wide range of areas including weather, transport networks, flooding, forestry, and even tracking icebergs.
The latest funding injection comes from the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency with matched funds from the SoXSA consortium and project contributions. The programme extension allows SoXSA to continue fostering economic growth in Scotland by helping companies enter the space sector, supporting innovation and the use of satellite applications across industries. It will also continue its work promoting careers in the space sector.
SoXSA is one of five centres established by the Satellite Applications Catapult to create focal points of activity linking the science base with companies both large and small around the UK. Since its launch, the centre has brokered relationships between academia and industry to win funding for research projects, expanded its network to include the Highlands and Islands, and grown the team from one full-time staff member to four. Last month the centre received an additional £50,000 of funding from the UK Space Agency to support the creation of new businesses and bring more innovative companies to the city centre.
Dr Hina Khan, innovation lead at the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, said: “Since its inception, SoXSA has played an important role supporting the growth of the Scottish space sector and we are incredibly grateful for the extension to our funding.
“Originally the space sector in Scotland was relatively fragmented but SoXSA has since been able to provide a central base for industry and is now seen as the door to the wider industry. With increasing numbers of related businesses either setting up or relocating to Glasgow, we’re ideally placed at Strathclyde to help promote the sector to help create jobs, revenue and innovations which could have a huge impact on a variety of industries.”
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said:
“The space sector is flourishing in Scotland. A growing number of companies connecting with our Scottish Centre of Excellence are interested in harnessing the potential of space applications or have bold ambitions to create new space-based ventures. The region is attracting international investment from space companies and we are delighted to extend the Centres funding to enable us to support increased demand for our business support services.”
Scotland is home to a growing number of internationally-recognised space companies developing both affordable satellite hardware, and the applications that harness the data satellites provide. Around 18% of the UK’s space sector employment – the equivalent of around 7,000 jobs – are now based in Scotland, generating some £131 million in income.
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