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Reading-based space company Isotropic Systems announces major development contract

By Karolina Skinner
27 May 2021
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Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, has announced a major development contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) supported by the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Isotropic-Systems

Isotropic Systems accelerates product evolution through ARTES Competitiveness & Growth (C&G) development contract awarded by the European Space Agency

Isotropic Systems has received commitment of over €18.5 million from the UK Space Agency to co-fund the activity implemented through the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) C&G programme of the European Space Agency, which enables industry to translate innovative concepts into leading-edge satcom products and services. The development contract ensures oversight of ESA’s experts and the technical integrity of Isotropic’s path to product launch in early 2022.

This milestone also secures UK tech sector jobs growth, adding over 150 highly-skilled engineering roles in the UK over the next two years. And with a new 20,000 sq ft technology and testing centre opening in Reading, the company will also develop custom ASIC designs as well as several other advanced technologies at the heart of Isotropic Systems’ technology.

Isotropic Systems is already working closely with a broad range of public and private sector UK organisations, including QinetiQ, Satellite Applications Catapult and Innovate UK, as well as the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The new contracts follow Isotropic Systems’ recent funding round, which successfully raised over $40m from SES, specialised space investors Orbital Ventures, UK government’s Future Fund and existing investors Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures, Space Angels and Firmament Ventures. Together, the fundraising and subsequent contracts secure Isotropic Systems’ role providing vital infrastructure to the global space industry, with the company’s unique technology enabling next-gen satellite connectivity across the globe.

Commenting on the contract John Finney, Isotropic Systems CEO said: “This important milestone contract with ESA demonstrates the potential of our revolutionary terminals and will secure our role in the near-term growth of the UK and global space market. The level of support, expertise and technical oversight we receive from ESA, along with our recent fundraising, will enable us to scale our business to plan and help solve the world’s connectivity challenges across a range of applications and industries.”

Domenico Mignolo, head of ground user segment technologies and products at the European Space Agency, added: “The contract signed with Isotropic Systems, demonstrates that ARTES Competitiveness & Growth really supports SME’s ambitious plans to turn disruptive technologies into products for the satcom market.”

“This ARTES-programme contract with Isotropic Systems is an exciting catalyst for growth and innovation, not only for a new generation of disruptive and transformational connectivity terminals but also high-value technology jobs supporting the growing UK space sector,” said Michael Rudd, head of telecommunications strategy at the UK Space Agency. “The UK’s ambitions to grow our space sector will be realised in a large part thanks to incredibly innovative UK-based firms like Isotropic Systems.”

UK science minister, Amanda Solloway MP said: “The UK space sector is thriving and, with connectivity never having been more important, it’s vital we support pioneering companies like Isotropic Systems who are tapping into the benefits that space technology can bring us all on Earth. Backed by the UK Government, these new multi-beam antennas will improve connectivity for us all at home, and for emerging technologies such as driverless cars, while helping to create 150 highly-skilled UK jobs as we build back better.”