Delivering a huge boost for space businesses in the East of England
Suffolk, 25th January 2024 – A Space Enterprise Lab providing users with the latest collaborative technology, resources and expertise launches today at Adastral Park in Suffolk – the latest addition to the Satellite Applications Catapult’s countrywide network.
Leading the launch is the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has been supporting the development of a dedicated space cluster in the East of England for the last two years. More than 100 members now make up Space East, a cluster that brings together innovators to share knowledge, expertise, and capabilities. The aim is to establish the region as a leading player in the UK space sector.
The new Space Enterprise Lab provides a range of essential capabilities for space sector companies and innovators, enabling them to work together more effectively. It is part of a linked network of 13 such facilities around the UK which are responding to the way in which we now work. They are modular physical spaces for innovation that are digitally inclusive, offering users to collaboration software, virtual reality headsets and interactive screens, as well as a modern, professional and safe working environment.
Innovative and inclusive services at the Space Enterprise Labs facilitate the virtual delivery of meetings, business sprints, user engagement spark sessions and other services such as virtual whiteboards and built-in video conferencing, for everyone within the UK space sector to use.
Generous support for the Space Enterprise Lab at Adastral Park come from the Satellite Applications Catapult, BT, New Anglia LEP, Space East, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council.
Julian Munson, Head of Enterprise Zones and Innovation at New Anglia LEP and Chair of Space East, said: “We are delighted to see Space Enterprise Lab Adastral come to fruition, supported by our local and national partners. This exciting project creates not only a regional base for the growing Space East cluster but a facility which will benefit local businesses and organisations seeking to explore the new world of space applications, unlocking commercial opportunities for multiple sectors from health, social care and agriculture to logistics, offshore energy and marine science”.
Nafeesa Dajda, Director of National Capabilities at the Satellite Applications Catapult, commented: “We are delighted to be launching the new Space Enterprise Lab at Adastral Park today to fully connect Space East to our space ecosystem. The UK’s vibrant space sector is active in every part of the country, and this lab will encourage collaboration between innovative organisations as they reimagine how we use satellite technology and create new applications to solve our biggest global challenges.”
Stuart Catchpole, Space Cluster Manager, said: “‘Space Enterprise Lab Adastral is an exciting addition to the Space East cluster. A free-to-use office space with the latest in smart conferencing technology, it not only provides an innovation space for businesses in and around the space sector to develop, but it further cements our relationship with BT, Adastral Park and the wider UK Space Ecosystem.”
Lisa Perkins, director of Adastral Park and Research realisation in BT’s Technology unit, said: “We’re delighted to host the Space Enterprise Lab at Adastral Park – BT Group’s research and innovation centre. Home to an exciting ecosystem of high-tech telecommunication and technology companies, the University of Suffolk and other partners, the lab will enable businesses in the space and satellite sector to tap into the skills, expertise and facilities that we have at the Park.
“As the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications, we look forward to collaborating with others through the Space Enterprise Lab to explore the role that non-terrestrial networks can play in future telecoms, working hand-in-hand with our own research capability.”
Cllr Richard Smith MVO, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste, said: “We welcome the launch of the Space Enterprise Lab at Adastral Park, which is an exciting milestone in the growth of the space sector both in Suffolk and across the UK. The services offered at this new dedicated facility will create new opportunities for Suffolk organisations to innovate and collaborate in a pioneering industry.”