A unique government-backed technology and innovation company has further demonstrated its commitment to supporting and accelerating the growth of the space industry in the UK with its expansion into Space Park Leicester.

The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of nine Catapults established in 2013 to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas to help drive future economic growth.

The new office will be a home for activities designed to support and grow the space industry in the region, and demonstrates the Catapult’s continued commitment to the development of the sector around the UK.

Staffed by a dedicated team of experts, who will engage locally with academia, entrepreneurs and businesses alike, the team will manage a wide range of space industry activities with a strong focus on the commercialisation of ideas that use Earth Observation data and technology.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “We are extremely excited by the announcement today, marking the start of the Catapult’s presence at Space Park Leicester.

“It provides another opportunity for businesses to benefit from the unique services the Catapult provides, and with the focus on Earth Observation data, ties in closely with much of the world-leading expertise at the University of Leicester. Huge congratulations are due to all the Leicester partners that have worked tirelessly to create this incredible facility.”

At Space Park Leicester, the Satellite Applications Catapult will also continue to collaborate with the University of Leicester to support their ongoing programmes in design and manufacture of satellite technology and missions with real-world applications.

Nafeesa Dajda, Head of the Satellite Applications Catapult’s Regional Growth Team said: “All the qualities that Space Park Leicester possesses will enable us to maximise the potential for us to do our work to continue to strengthen the potential for sustainable partnerships, collaboration and overall growth within our sector.

“The facility marks a significant and remarkable investment in a cluster focussed on space and satellites; and we are thrilled to be present in a common area to work with businesses and the University to foster new collaborations and partnerships.

“The fact that we will now be working in close-proximity with all of our Leicester partners will also add benefit to all stakeholders focused on satellite growth and overall UK space ambition. This physical presence further enhances our established innovation focussed partnerships with the University of Leicester.”

Space Park Leicester will enable collaboration between University researchers and the private sector, creating high quality knowledge-based jobs, building the skills base and contributing to economic growth and resilience of the economy.

The project is being led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Phase One development at Space Park Leicester is supported by an £8.175m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, part of government funding awarded to LLEP for projects that benefit the local area and economy.

There are also plans for a commercial Low Cost Access to Space (LoCAS) satellite manufacturing facility on the Space Park Leicester site for the manufacture of mid-range satellites.

Professor Sarah Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College for Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted that the Satellite Applications Catapult has chosen Space Park Leicester as the base for their expansion plans.

“The University is proud of our established record in applying satellite technology and space-derived data to solve real-world problems, and this collaboration will continue this important approach to delivering transformational change. We look forward to welcoming the Catapult team as one of our first co-location partners.”