Thales Alenia Space UK helps bring SME’s closer to Space.



The impressive facilities at the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications in Harwell played host to Thales Alenia Space SME Space supply chain event on Wednesday 22 March 2017.

With support from UKspace, ESA and the Satellite Applications Catapult, over 85 SME’s and guests from across Industry came together to meet Thales Alenia Space and learn more about how to become part of the UK Space supply chain.

Ben Olivier, CEO of Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS-UK), together with Alan Brunstrom from ESA, welcomed over eighty five SME’s and guests from across the UK to this important Industry engagement day. Ben invited people to meet the TAS-UK experts and to see presentations by Emma Jones, Chief Technical Officer of TAS-UK and Luc Verstreaten, Head of Procurement and Supply chain TAS-UK. And together with presentations by ESA, who shared information on ARTES co-funding and SME initiatives, Ben highlighted that successful space products, despite having to overcome high barriers to enter the market, often have an enduring product life; and ESA, UKSA and InnovateUK all offer support to help SME’s develop and prove new technologies. Recognising that TAS’s customers expect the risk to be part of their own enterprise model and not the satellite technology, stamina is essential… but in a globally competitive industry TAS is always looking to gain an advantage and recognises that the freethinking approaches of SMEs can make that important difference.

Supported by UKspace and the Satellite Applications Catapult, the event involved over forty individual meetings where SME’s met the TAS-UK team and presented many innovative ideas, including technology transfer and potential opportunities for new collaborations. TAS-UK experts also shared their valuable experience on topics ranging from Innovation, Quality Assurance, Export controls, Commercial contracts, funding sources and Procurement processes and links into the wider Thales Group.

Ben Olivier commented “I’m delighted Thales Alenia Space in the UK is able to provide important opportunities such as the event today for SME’s to help support the growth of innovation within the UK Space sector. This is part of TAS-UK’s wider engagement strategy to build a prosperous UK Space market from which we can all benefit. I therefore believe it’s important to share our experiences and explain our company vision and, together with UKspace and the Satellite Applications Catapult, we look forward to expanding the vibrant space sector in the UK and make a significant contribution to the global space market”.

Paul Flanagan UKspace said “I’m personally delighted that UKspace is able to facilitate these important links between Industry and the SME network and I strongly support Ben Olivier’s comment that by supporting each other in such an engaging way today, we will grow our space supply chain in the UK in a way that is dynamic and sustainable for the global stage.”

TAS-UK SME supply chain event is part of a wider programme of events throughout 2017 for supporting the growth of the UK Space supply chain. Future events are planned in Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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Notes to Editors:

Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS-UK) was established in 2014 with offices in Bristol, Harwell and Belfast. TAS UK is the UK leader in propulsion systems, mission subsystems, and next generation payloads for telecoms, military satellites and UK satellite constellations. TAS-UK is also responsible for the Broadband Radiometer – a space borne instrument, as part of the European Space Agency ‘Earthcare’ programme, which will help scientists understand and monitor global warming

Thales Alenia Space has pivotal roles in projects such as the ExoMars Rover, JUICE (an exploration of Jupiter’s Icy Moons), constructed half the pressurised volume of the ISS including the Columbus module and continues to seek innovative ways to meet the complex challenges of the future.

Thales Alenia Space cutting-edge products and services meet the needs of commercial and government customers from around the world, spanning the space, defence, science and security markets. Thales Alenia Space is one of the prime suppliers to the International Space Station (ISS) and recognised worldwide as the leading benchmark in delivering communications and navigation services to monitor our environment and oceans to better understand the impact of climate change and to support scientific research.

Media Contacts:

Thales Alenia Space: Jill Hutchinson Head of Communications and Government Affairs 07854 959 805
UKspace – Jane Ford Communications Manager 07815 853841: jane.ford@ukspace.org
European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications Media Enquires 01235 444 294

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