A CALL has gone out for organisations to help companies tap into the multi-billion pound space sector and create a leading hub for the development of space and satellite technology in the North East.
Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, is creating the North East Space and Satellite Applications Hub (NESSA), a programme of activity that will be delivered by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, which has been based at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) since 2014.
The three-year innovation programme will help identify opportunities to win contracts and funding and build collaborations in a bid to support more than 300 businesses; create or safeguard 100 jobs and attract more than £5m of funding into the North East. Business Durham is now seeking expressions of interest from potential members of a NESSA consortium to support this activity 2017-2020. It is hoped that the consortium will comprise LEPs, universities, business and community partners, led by Business Durham.
Catherine Johns, director of innovation at Business Durham, said: “Working closely with the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency, we’ve already started to have an impact, supporting over 300 companies, attracting £2.5M of funding and supporting the creation of over 50 jobs. We want to build on that success and keep the region in the spotlight. The North East will be a hub for developing and applying space technology and satellite data to solve fundamental problems, build resilience and help us feel more secure in the world. The range of products and services which could be developed is vast. They could centre around the security of our food chains, water, energy supply, data, transport, infrastructure or even people.”
Business Durham is renowned for coming up with innovative ways of working with businesses, supporting organisations and universities to maximise growth, initiating Durham Smart County and Finance Durham, among others, working closely with Durham County Council.
The NESSA programme will help companies secure their place in the global space market, anticipated to be £40bn by 2030, see new products and services delivered, more jobs created, local supply chain links made and new solutions coming from the North East to big societal challenges. For more information please visit www.businessdurham.co.uk/