What is Technical Expert Support (TES)?

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The Satellite Applications Catapult’s Technical Expert Support Programme offers tailored technical and business expertise to businesses across the UK.  Funded through the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult Local Growth Collaboration, TES aims to empower both space and non-space sector companies.

Programme objectives are:

  • Overcoming Technical Barriers: TES assists businesses in overcoming technical obstacles to innovation within the space sector.
  • Creating Opportunities: The program actively seeks opportunities for non-space sector companies, fostering growth and impact.
  • Championing Space: By delivering new products and solutions to the marketplace, TES catalyses investment and underscores the power of space technology.
Bridging the Gap

In collaboration with BryceTech and Exotopic, TES bridges the gap between space enterprises and non-space businesses. Our seasoned experts provide direct access to the knowledge needed to harness the full potential of space technology.

TES offers expert guidance and support across 5 pivotal areas:

  • Earth Observation (EO)
  • Satellite Communications (Satcom)
  • Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT)
  • In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing (IOSM)
  • Launch and Propulsion (L&P)
How it Works

The engagement begins with an introductory meeting facilitated by Exotopic, serving as a triage. During this meeting, they present the program, emphasising its unique features and benefits. They also discuss the terms and conditions, ensuring clarity for all parties involved. Next, the best experts to deliver tailored support based on the specific needs of the business are defined. Together, they establish the initial scope of support for the “package of work,” and agree upon expected delivery, outcomes, and timescales.

Making a difference in 2023/2024

During the 2023/24 program year (running from April 2023 to March 2024), our team engaged with 73 businesses. For each business, our experts conducted tailored engagements, resulting in the delivery of impactful services. Almost all the businesses we engaged with were SMEs, usually at a very early start-up stage.

Throughout the programme delivery, we delivered a selection of services tailored to the unique needs of each business, including:

  • Tailored Workshops, Presentations, and Reports

Our experts facilitated workshops, delivered engaging presentations, and provided comprehensive reports customised to meet the specific needs of each business. These sessions empowered businesses with practical knowledge and actionable insights.

  • Network Introductions and Market Insights

We leveraged our networks to introduce businesses to key industry players and influential individuals. Market insights were a game-changer, summarising supply chains and value chains for specific business cases. New and non-space businesses benefited significantly from these services, gaining a deeper understanding of space-related opportunities, and building valuable relationships.

  • Dataset Reports

Our experts delved into relevant datasets, offering insights that businesses could use to enhance their specific business cases. Access to high-quality data is crucial for informed decision-making, and we ensured businesses had the right information at their fingertips.

  • Technical Reviews and Advice

We tackled specific challenges and roadblocks faced by businesses. Whether it was overcoming technical hurdles or refining business cases, our guidance supported scaling up and strengthening propositions.

  • Funding Opportunities and Proposal Support

Identifying funding opportunities and providing proposal support were common services. By enhancing proposals for funding, pitches, and collaborations, we opened doors for businesses within the sector.

  • In-Person Engagements for Swift Impact

Whenever possible, our experts conducted face-to-face meetings and workshop sessions. This personalised approach allowed us to engage deeply with businesses and deliver support efficiently.

Network introductions and market insights were the most popular requests, particularly with new and non-space businesses looking to better understand the opportunities within space and develop relationships across the sector.

Our commitment extended beyond surface-level assistance. We conducted technical reviews and delivered targeted advice to help businesses overcome specific challenges or roadblocks. Additionally, we assisted with business case development and identified funding opportunities. By strengthening their propositions and refining their funding proposals, we enhanced the overall opportunities for businesses within the sector.

Personalised Engagement for Lasting Impact

Whenever possible, our experts engaged in in-person meetings and workshop sessions with businesses. This approach allowed for more effective communication and support, delivered over a shorter timeframe.

Earth Observation Takes the Lead

Among our services, Earth Observation (EO) stands out as the most popular choice. Its compatibility with businesses across various sectors makes it a sought-after solution. However, we also provide support for Satellite Communication and Launch and Propulsion, catering to diverse needs within the space ecosystem.

Encouraging Cross-Sector Engagement

A core objective of our program is to bridge the gap between space and non-space organisations. The graph below illustrates a balanced split between businesses already engaged with space technology/data and those entirely new to the sector. By fostering cross-sector collaboration, we not only help existing businesses grow but also welcome fresh entrants into the space supply chain.

In Conclusion

The TES program’s impact during the 2023/24 program year was profound. Through personalised engagements, strategic support, and cross-sector collaboration, we empowered businesses to thrive in the dynamic space industry. As we look ahead, we remain committed to driving innovation, fostering connections, and making a lasting difference for businesses across the UK and beyond.