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Region has space to thrive in future.

Byline: Robert Gibson

MORE than 50 North East businesses turned out at The Core in Newcastle Science Central yesterday to learn how they could benefit from the growth of the UK space sector - set to be worth around PS40bn by 2030.

Delegates at the Satellite Applications Catapult Roadshow were given an insight into how different kinds of companies could tap into the wealth of opportunities that were being opened up.

Key themes included how satellite data and technology could be used to create new products and services within the maritime, marine and offshore energy sectors.

Businesses also heard from speakers from the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, the Marine Management Organisation and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: "It's been fantastic to see such a broad range of space and satellite applications expertise within the North East, and gives me great confidence the sector is flourishing in the region.

"We heard from a number of local companies who have the transferable skills and expertise to realise commercial success within the space sector which, for me, is really exciting to see."

Among the North East companies already exploring opportunities within the space sector is North Shields firm, Vreo Innovation Ltd, which is supplying optical camera technology to NASA programmes.

The move represents a notable achievement for the region, since the firm recently announced it was reshoring the manufacture of its products from China.

Durham company Realsafe Technologies was last year crowned UK champion in the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) with an app that detects when a motorcyclist has crashed and noti-fies the emergency services. Placing second was another North East company, the Weardale-based FARMWATCHERUK, which provides information on rural crime to farmers and landowners.

The business launched on social media before establishing a dedicated website and is now developing a smartphone app.

The roadshow also featured a call for applications for the 2016 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), the Copernicus Masters and a new competition being launched by the Catapult on behalf of the space sector.

| Companies interested in entering ESNC 2016 should visit:

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2016
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