Further boost for Scotland’s burgeoning space sector
AN American company specialising in satellite-enabled telecommunication services has signalled its substantial ambitions for Scotland following support from Scottish Enterprise.
Mangata Networks LLC will establish an R&D centre in Edinburgh to develop its innovative satellite-based communication technologies after the firm received a £3.6m award from Scotland’s national economic development agency.
An initial 38 jobs will be created by Mangata as part of a £10.5m investment by the company in Scotland. Longer-term, Mangata aims to establish Scotland as the centre of its European operations, which could see significant further investment, growth and employment opportunities.
The project will also enhance Scotland’s space capability and global offering, strengthening the country’s position as a leader in the space industry.
Scottish Government Trade and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said: “Today’s positive announcement by Mangata Networks underlines Scotland’s strength in the space sector, here at the forefront of satellite-enabled telecommunication services.
“Scottish Enterprise’s grant supports Mangata in the creation of an initial 38 jobs in Edinburgh and is another step towards the ambition set out in our Inward Investment Plan of being ranked among the world’s leading space sector nations. Scotland already punches above its weight, with 8,000 people directly employed in the industry and Glasgow alone builds more small satellites than any other city in Europe. Our geography, established industries and research activity combine to put us in an enviable position to exploit this fast-growing sector.
“Space has an important role to play as we build a sustainable, high skilled and globally competitive economy and I welcome Mangata Networks to Scotland.”
Headquartered in Arizona, Mangata’s ground-breaking technology can either host communications on its own platform or integrate it into existing networks. The company intends to offer affordable satellite connectivity that can be seamlessly integrated into any global network.
Mangata’s proposed solution has application potential across several sectors including maritime, aerospace (aeromobility), energy and internet of things (IoT). The firm’s technology will also enhance Scotland’s proposition in the 5G communication sectors, leading to potential collaborative working and supply chain opportunities for domestic-based companies.
CEO of Mangata, Brian Holz, a global leader in the space industry with more than 35 years of experience in progressive space system engineering and former CEO of OneWeb Satellites, said: “Scotland is a unique and spirited country whose culture of inclusion and open-mindedness soundly reverberates with our mission.
“We are impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the Scottish people we meet and by the sense of camaraderie they instil in all that they do. With the skills and available local talent, picking Scotland as our European hub was a natural choice. We are having rich ongoing conversations with the Scottish 5G Centre and share a common will to engage with the Scottish public.
“This is just the beginning of a long partnership and we relish the prospect of the wonderful things we will achieve together.”
Mangata’s decision to locate in Edinburgh was supported by Scottish Enterprise representatives who hosted the founders (pre-COVID) several times in Scotland, introducing them to key stakeholders and showcasing the best of industry and academia.
Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment, SDI at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Mangata is at the cutting edge of the space and communication sectors and their plans to locate, invest and significantly grow in Scotland with our support are incredibly exciting.
“The company’s decision to open an R&D centre in Edinburgh is yet another vote of confidence in our space industry. Mangata had several global options for its R&D centre, so it’s wonderful the company chose Scotland to anchor its European operations.
“Despite the difficulties caused by COVID-19, Scotland remains very much open for business and our talented colleagues across the world will continue to highlight why our country remains such an extraordinary proposition to invest in, particularly in priority sectors such as the space industry.”
Scotland’s space sector is rising faster than anywhere else in the UK, aiming to grow in value to £4 billion by 2030. Almost one fifth of all UK jobs in the space sector are based in Scotland.
Paul Coffey, CEO at The Scotland 5G Centre, added: “The opportunities for Scotland from satellite communications are enormous, particularly as the pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of digital connectivity. Mobile operators and internet service providers will be able to complement their traditional connectivity in areas that have been historically difficult to serve.
“We look forward to supporting Mangata via our S5GConnect Innovation labs as they develop and test their hybrid 5G/ satellite service.”