Awards from the UK Space Agency and Lockheed Martin have funded the University to establish the North East Center for Space Skills and Technology.
The center, which will be known as NESST, will facilitate the creation of more than 350 jobs and invest more than 260 million pounds into the North East economy over the next 30 years, catalysing the wider development of the UK space sector in the North East region.
"This is a key moment not only for Northumbria University, but for the wider North East region and indeed for the UK space sector as a whole," says the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Long, "NESST will be a game changer for the North East region , ensuring that the region will become a major center of innovation in the space economy.”
Announced at the UK Space Conference, the UK Space Agency has awarded £10 million to Northumbria University to support the development of NESST. In addition to this, Lockheed Martin has committed to invest a further £15 million in NESST to work with the university on collaborative research, technology development, in-demand skills delivery and STEM engagement over 10 years.
Lockheed Martin will be the first anchor tenant at NESST, creating links for UK companies to access the space market.
Northumbria University has confirmed it will fund the British Space Agency and Lockheed Martin awards with a further £25. million, bringing the total investment in NESST to £50 million.
Based at Northumbria University's Newcastle campus, NESST will bring together industry and academia to collaborate in areas such as optical satellite communications, space weather and space energy, and provide specialist education and training to enable UK space the sector had highly qualified employees. he will need it in the future.
Lockheed Martin and Northumbria University have joined forces for the first time in 2022 to support the development of skills, research and technology in the space sector. Lockheed Martin has previously invested £630,000 to work with the University on a number of projects, including the creation of machine learning algorithms to detect and register nanojets and accelerate the use of space solar energy.
The £15 million will be split evenly between capital equipment to be used at the center and research and development.
"NESST is part of Lockheed Martin's investment plans for our UK space business and will provide the first prototypes and test facilities for new capabilities that can later be produced on land," says Lockheed Martin's Nick Smith, "It will also be a reskilling hub that will provide the flow of talent that we will need to implement national and even global programs."
British Space Agency Northumbria's award was the maximum amount available under the agency's Space Cluster Infrastructure Fund (SCIF), an initiative to increase the capability, capacity and connectivity of the UK's space research and development infrastructure.
The Wynn Jones University building, which overlooks the Newcastle Central Motorway, will be transformed into a prominent home for NESST (pictured: artist's impression).
The building, which is scheduled to reopen in 2025, will have space for laboratory, testing, training, collaboration and offices.
Stimulus for the local space cluster ecosystem. , NESST will be home to some of the university's existing partnerships with local, national and international organizations and will be open to companies of all sizes working in the space sector.