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Technology Strategy Board announces Satellite Applications Catapult centre

Technology Strategy Board announces Satellite Applications Catapult centre

04 Jan 2012

The Technology Strategy Board today announced that it will establish a new Catapult centre in Satellite Applications. The new Catapult will be a technology and innovation centre to help UK businesses develop new satellite-based products and services and stimulate growth across the UK economy. The Catapult will focus on applications of R&D in four growth areas: communications, broadcasting, positioning and observation.

Satellite services are expected to be an important growth area for the UK economy in the next decade and beyond. Worldwide, the Space sector is expected to grow to £400bn by 2030. The Satellite Applications Catapult will help to achieve targets set out in the UK Space Innovation and Growth Strategy to grow UK market share from 6% to 10% by 2030 and create 100,000 new high value jobs.

The Satellite Applications Catapult will provide in-orbit test facilities, allowing innovative UK organisations to demonstrate new satellite technologies. It removes significant cost barriers and shortens the time UK businesses will wait to achieve a first flight demonstration for new equipment and technologies in space. This approach was recently pioneered in the TechDemoSat project, which was jointly funded by the Technology Strategy Board and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The Catapult, expected to open in Autumn 2012,will also provide UK businesses,including SMEs, unique access to advanced systems for data capture and analysis to support the development of new services delivered by satellites.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Technology Strategy Board said: “We are extremely pleased to be introducing the Catapult in Satellite Applications. The Catapult will help UK businesses create many new products and services across a wide range of areas, such as distance learning, telemedicine, urban planning, precision agriculture, traffic management and meteorology.

Gray continued: “This fourth Catapult is an important milestone in the journey to establish a network of elite technology centres to stimulate business growth.”

David Willetts, Minister for Science and Higher Education said: “The new Catapult centres will help turn today’s emerging technologies into tomorrow’s industries. The Satellite Applications Catapult will help the UK stay at the leading edge of space technology and help us achieve the potential we set out in the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy.”

Willetts continued: “By supporting emerging technologies, we can make sure that we are always looking for the next opportunity to develop our industrial base and ensure strong, balanced growth for the future.”

David Williams, Chief Executive of UK Space agency said: “We're proud to be a part of this exciting project and look forward to continued collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board in this high growth sector. The Satellite Applications Catapult will boost collaboration across industry and is a great example of how the Technology Strategy Board and the UK Space Agency are working with industry and academia to develop new market opportunities.”

The Technology Strategy Board has held extensive consultation with the UK’s space community over the past 9 months and has worked closely with the UK Space Agency, the trade association UKspace, the International Space Innovation Centre and the Space Special Interest Group of the Knowledge Transfer Network to assess the suitability for a Catapult centre in Satellite Applications. It has also engaged with other organisations in different sectors where satellite applications are likely to be important and will seek to involve a broad cross section of industry in the implementation of the new Catapult centre. A further workshop to drive the implementation plan will be held at the end of January.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body, tasked with establishing an elite network of Catapult centres that will help stimulate business growth and ensure the UK is a global leader in innovation.

Click here for the full press release, including notes to editors.

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Last updated on Friday 27 April 2012 at 11:23

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