UK Astronomy Technology Centre is key partner in new Scottish Satellite Applications Centre
24 Mar 2014 10:56 AM
The UK Astronomy
Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh has this week been named one of the key
partners in a new Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications that
will enable businesses to tap in to the UK’s £8.2 billion space
UK Astronomy Technology Centre
at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
The UK ATC, part of the Science
and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will be offering access to satellite
test facilities and Big Data expertise as well as giving start-up companies an
opportunity to be part of our space-focused Business Incubation Centre which is
at the heart of the new ‘Higgs Centre for Innovation’ that has
attracted a £10.7M investment from government.
The space-focused Business
Incubation Centre (BIC) is based on the successful model being run by STFC in
collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) at Harwell.
Speaking about the announcement
UK ATC Head of Innovation Dr Julian Dines said “Our expertise in
developing and exploiting advanced remote-sensing instrumentation and space
technology offers businesses the chance to benefit not just from knowledge
exchange but also from access to our satellite test facilities and Big Data
expertise in an Open Innovation environment”.
Based at the University of
Strathclyde in Glasgow The Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite
Applications is one of three hubs being developed by the Satellite Applications
Catapult, part of the UK’s network of technology and innovation
companies, to drive economic growth in key sectors. The centre will consolidate
links between the science knowledge base and the business community, enabling
companies to use satellite data in new ways, from supporting the energy
industry to planning future cities.
The UK ATC with its history of
involvement in scientific space missions (including the recent Herschel Space
Observatory and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope), will be actively
engaging in and collaborating with the Satellite Applications Catapult and its
new Centres of Excellence in support of its aim to grow the space activities
across the UK.
The space industries in the UK
produce 40 per cent of the world’s small satellites, and currently
contribute around £8.2 billion to the economy – a rise of 16 per
cent since 2009.
The University of
Strathclyde-based centre will work alongside Centres of Excellence hosted by
Business Durham and the University of Leicester, and will bring together
expertise not just from the UK ATC but also from other Scottish institutions
including the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee and companies such as Clyde
Space Ltd, along with Scottish Enterprise.
The new Centre of Excellence
will start activities from April 2014.
- END -
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A Catapult is a technology and
innovation centre where the very best of the UK's businesses, scientists
and engineers can work side by side on research and development, transforming
ideas into new products and services to generate economic
Catapults add an important new
dimension to complement existing research and development programmes
established by the Technology Strategy Board. March 2014 saw the launch of
three new regional ‘Centres of Excellence' in satellite applications.
Each new Centre will act as a focal point for Catapult activity in its local
area, consolidating the links between the science knowledge base and the
business community. View the Catapult announcement htt
UK Astronomy Technology
The UK Astronomy Technology
Centre (UK ATC) is the national centre for astronomical technology. It is part
of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
UK ATC designs and builds
instruments for many of the world's major telescopes, and also applies this
expertise in remote-sensing for diverse fields from environmental-monitoring to
retinal-imaging. They also project-manage UK and international collaborations
and their scientists carry out observational and theoretical research into
questions such as the origins of planets and of galaxies.
Based at the Royal Observatory
in Edinburgh, and operated by STFC, its technology can be found in telescopes
both on the ground and in space.
The latest development at UK ATC
has been the £10.7M BIS investment for the ‘Higgs Centre for
Innovation’ to be built over the next few years. The two key themes for
this new centre are “Space” and “Big Data” and as such
it will host a number of facilities which will complement the Strathclyde
regional centre, including:
- Dedicated NanoSat / CubeSat test
and integration labs and cleanrooms – providing access to facilities both
for the incubated companies and other SMEs, for testing space hardware. These
small hardware (nano-satellite) test facilities compliment the larger satellite
test facilities available through STFC’s RAL Space at
- Data visualisation and remote
presence suite – with direct connections to STFC High Performance
computing teams across the UK to enable business / R&D interaction with
organisations across the UK and facilitate cutting-edge Big Data based
research, including the exploitation of satellite data.
Further details on the UK
Astronomy Technology Centre
http://www.stfc.ac.uk/1185.aspx and ATC Innovations http://www.atcinnovations.com/<