3 April 2017 – 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 SMEs 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 85 SMEs 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 SMEs 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 40 individual meetings where SMEs 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 of 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.