Our voice of business this month is: Izzy Taylor, Marketing Manager, Satellite Applications Catapult.

With a strong heritage in rocket propulsion, Westcott Venture Park continues to be a vibrant hub of space-related activities. As well as propulsion companies, the Westcott Space Cluster is now also home to businesses utilising satellite communications, positioning and imagery technology in a vast range of sectors including, but not limited to, agriculture, autonomous systems, emergency services, and health and wellbeing.

Since arriving at Westcott in 2018, the Satellite Applications Catapult has been supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to establish and grow within the space sector. Our Westcott journey began with the Business Incubation Centre (BIC) and 5G Centre, has since expanded to include an Innovation Centre, and is now at an exciting new stage of development to expand our collaboration opportunities.

Behind the scenes of our physical presence at Westcott is not only the wide range of expertise in colleagues you will see if you visit us on site, but also a strong force of additional business and technical experience at the Catapult’s head office in Harwell. We strongly believe that collaboration is key to innovation, and in working together across our business and with partners such as Buckinghamshire LEP and Westcott Venture Park, we are seeing successes within many start-ups and SMEs.

We have had the pleasure of working with really exciting companies at Westcott and due to our network and reach and have introduced some to large projects, initiatives, and institutions that otherwise they would not have been able to be exposed to. We welcome both space and non-space organisations to have a look on our websites for how we can innovate together and get in touch with us.

About our facilities at Westcott

The BIC, funded through the European Regional Development Fund, works with start-ups focusing in the areas of 5G communications, space propulsion and autonomous systems. Incubatees receive tailored support packages which can include more business or technical advice where needed.

This has been aided by the recently renamed Future Networks Development Centre (previously known as the 5G Step-Out Centre) where companies can test their technologies on a range of communications networks. Our comms engineers bring decades of experience to support with product and service development that can save your company valuable resources in the technology development process.

In 2020 we launched the Innovation Centre which is part funded by the Local Growth Fund and Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, via Buckinghamshire LEP. Despite being launched during the pandemic, this engineering prototyping facility is now a hub of activity with OneWeb’s Service Demo Centre, two Living Labs focusing on health and agriculture, and a vast array of manufacturing equipment and clean rooms available for businesses to hire from as little as a day up to long term use. We also have a space for companies to take up shared desk facilities.

Soon we will be sharing details of further expansions to our capabilities based at Westcott, allowing businesses even more commercialisation opportunities with the ability to grow ideas to prototypes, test and build all within the Space Cluster. Keep an eye out for those announcements in the coming weeks!

To find out more about the Catapult, please visit our website: http://sa.catapult.org.uk/. As a proud member of the Westcott Space Cluster, we would recommend anyone working in this sector to find out about opportunities to join us on the Venture Park and become part of the community.