Satellite Applications Catapult to grow presence in Wales

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The Satellite Applications Catapult is today announcing that it will open a new regional office at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr, Gwynedd.

The office, which will open this month, will promote the development of satellite applications and services that benefit the rural economy, with an initial focus on healthcare.

The site at Llanbedr offers a number of advantages in this area, including a remote location in which to test rural service solutions, and access to controlled airspace for testing new applications using unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery and situational awareness.

Llanbedr is also one of the UK sites identified as a possible spaceport for horizontal launch, and the Satellite Applications Catapult would be well placed to support the development of a local and national technological base that can fully exploit the synergies between any such future development and existing programmes.

Alan Cox, Chief Commercial Officer at the Satellite Applications Catapult said, “Rural communities are increasingly challenged in terms of healthcare provision as resources become focused on a small number of specialist centres, often at significant distance from patients. The Snowdonia Aerospace Centre will provide a capability that complements and grows on our activities promoting business growth using UAVs and advanced communications at the Westcott Venture Park Space Cluster in Buckinghamshire, and will build on successful telemedicine solutions trialled in the Scottish Highlands”.

Welsh Government Economy Minister, Ken Skates said: “Today’s announcement is excellent news for the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone and the wider rural economy in North West Wales. The Satellite Applications Catapult has a long track record of driving economic growth and their decision to open an office in Llanbedr is a real boost for the site and the region.

“I am pleased the focus of the new office will be directed toward innovative research and the development of new technologies and services for telemedicine and healthcare related connectivity, designed to support rural communities and improve life experiences. Long term it will work toward exporting expertise developed at Llanbedr to countries across the world.

“The Satellite Applications Catapult’s presence in Llanbedr, combined with the extensive plans for the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, will create a new focus and drive for this growing element of the Welsh economy.”

Lee Paul, Chief Executive Officer at Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, added “We are delighted to welcome Satellite Applications Catapult and look forward to working with them on these exciting and transformational projects.

“Satellite Applications Catapult is one of an increasing number of companies and organisations who are establishing a facility at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, taking advantage of the site’s growing development and recognition as the leading location in Europe for the research, testing and development of UAS and emerging future technology flight programmes. The growth of these markets along with that of the space sector are Snowdonia Aerospace Centre’s core focus moving forward and Satellite Applications Catapult’s excellent track record, support network and linkages with Westcott and Harwell will offer invaluable support as we progress these opportunities.

“Snowdonia Aerospace Centre’s spaceport plans are presently being developed in parallel with our current UAS work and we look forward to sharing these in due course.”