Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Harwell Oxford selected to host new centre for satellite applications

STFC welcomes the decision by the Satellite Application Catapult Delivery Team to locate the new Catapult Centre at Harwell Oxford.  The news was announced by Science Minister David Willetts, at the Farnborough International Air Show on 10 July 2012.

One of seven new technology and innovation centres to be established and funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Satellite Application Catapult will be a world class centre for the development of satellite products, services and applications for commercial exploitation, and is expected to be operational later this year.

The Catapult will strongly complement the growing Harwell Oxford Space Cluster, which already includes the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC), STFC’s RAL Space, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the ESA Business Incubation Centre, each playing its part in the innovation required to advance space technology and develop new satellite applications and services.

Making the announcement, 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.”

Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Executive Chair of ISIC said: “This decision is a major vote of confidence in the UK’s flourishing Space sector and the rapidly developing Harwell Oxford Space Cluster.  It is also clear recognition that Harwell is the place for space within the UK and will make Harwell even more attractive for businesses interested in exploiting the massive growth potential identified in the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (link opens in a new window).”  

The full Technology Strategy Board press release can be viewed here (link opens in a new window).

Further information on the Satellite Applications Catapult Centres is available here (link opens in a new window)


  • Wendy Ellison
    STFC Press Officer
    Daresbury Laboratory
    Tel: +44 (0)1925 603 232

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