Harwell campus selected to host Satellite Catapult

Posted on 17 Jul 2012 by Tim Brown

The new Satellite Applications Catapult, one of seven new technology and innovation centres to be established by the UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board, will be based at Harwell Oxford, the science, innovation and business campus in South Oxfordshire.

The Oxfordshire location was chosen because of a growing cluster of organisations dedicated to advances in space technology and development of satellite applications. From Harwell the Satellite Applications Catapultwill also be well placed to deliver its vision, supportingthe UK business across the UK, developingcommercially successful satellite-based applications and services.

Making the announcement at the Farnborough International Air Show, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“I’m delighted that the Satellite Applications Catapult will be located at Harwell. The Technology Strategy Board are already committed to investing £10 million this year alone in innovation in technologies that make use of satellite and space infrastructure. The Catapult will give real impetus to commercial development in this area, where the UK can set itself ahead of the competition. With the international reputation that Harwell already enjoys, it makes it an ideal location for the Catapult.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “The large amount of space related innovation at the Harwell science and innovation campus makes it the ideal location for the Satellite Applications Catapult. Building and supporting clusters of excellence is one of the key objectives of the Catapult programme and we are extremely pleased the Catapult delivery team has chosen it as its base.

“The 2010 Space Innovation and Growth Strategy set objectives for growing the UK space industry from 6% to 10% of global market,which translates to £40bn for the UK by 2030.”

Paul Febvre, Project Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult delivery team said: “The Catapult will be a world-class centre for the development and commercial exploitation of satellite products, services and applications.It will be the place where the best researchers, SMEs and large companies come together and innovate with satellite technology and applications.

“We are excited to be establishing the Catapult at Harwell, from there we can build strong foundations by engaging with the UK’s existing assets and regional competencies.”

The Satellite Applications Catapult centre is expected to be operational later this year.