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Fuelling The Clyde Space Rocket
by Staff Writers
Glasgow, UK (SPX) Feb 01, 2011

Clyde Space are expanding their CubeSat capabilities with UKube1, a 5kg satellite being developed and built in Glasgow by Clyde Space for the UK Space Agency and due for launch late 2011.

Glasgow based Clyde Space, a leading provider of miniature spacecraft, has secured a funding package worth Pounds 1m, including significant equity investment, to support the company's growth in a burgeoning global space market. The investment package was led by private equity firm Nevis Capital and includes funding from Coralinn LLP.

Additional funding from Scottish Enterprise, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Technology Strategy Board and Regional Selective Assistance are included to support innovation and growth across all company activities.

Clyde Space is widely regarded as one of the most innovative young companies in the UK and in just 5 years has become the largest indigenous space company in Scotland. The company has a global customer portfolio including the European Space Agency, several USA based customers in addition to other global customers in countries such as Turkey, South Africa, India, China, South America, Canada.

The funding will support Clyde Space to expand its product range and capability offering and increase its global market share.

The success of Clyde Space comes from the company's ability to produce high quality, high performance systems for very small spacecraft called 'CubeSats'. One of the first commercial companies in the World to recognise the potential of CubeSats for space applications, Clyde Space has about 30-40% market share of the global CubeSat power market.

Clyde Space are expanding their CubeSat capabilities with UKube1, a 5kg satellite being developed and built in Glasgow by Clyde Space for the UK Space Agency and due for launch late 2011.

About 50% of turnover at Clyde Space is from the sales of power components for larger spacecraft, including power controllers, batteries and solar panels. Clyde Space solar panels were launched last year on the South African mission, 'SumbandilaSat'.

Clyde Space founder and CEO, Craig Clark, sits on the UK Space Leadership Council. He said; 'I am absolutely delighted with the funding package. For me, this funding round is not just about financial support, but about the people. I met the guys from Nevis about 5 years ago and, having got to know them in the interim period, I knew that Nevis would be an excellent fit to invest in Clyde Space.

In addition, Hugh Stewart has an outstanding record in growing globally successful companies. I couldn't be more happy to have them on board.' On the government support Craig said; 'We are very fortunate in Scotland and the UK to have superb support from government for innovative technology companies in growth markets - both Scottish Enterprise, STFC and the Technology Strategy Board continue to be a major factor in the success of Clyde Space.'

Craig Clark remains as CEO and retains a major shareholding, while Hugh Stewart and the four Nevis Capital partners, Brian Aitken, David Bell, John Pirrie and James Pirrie, have all been appointed to the company's board.

James Pirrie said 'We believe that Clyde Space has a fantastic opportunity to grow in a space market that has been defying the recession, with all indicators suggesting that it will grow at an increasing pace in the years to come. Craig has positioned Clyde Space in the driver's seat in their particular field and we look forward to supporting him to continue the tremendous growth'.

Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said: "This is a very exciting project for the spacecraft industry. Clyde Space is a great example of a proactive, forward- thinking company that is successfully tackling the global marketplace and in doing so is boosting the Scottish economy.

"RSA funding is one of the key tools we can use to encourage both indigenous and foreign companies to invest in Scotland, and is part of a wider package of business support available from Scottish Enterprise. We look forward to working with Clyde Space in the future to further strengthen its presence in Scotland." UKube 1

UKube 1 is being developed through an existing Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Clyde Space and the University of Strathclyde. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are supporting the programme through the KTP process and encourage industry /academia to apply for KTP's to support payload development projects. In addition, STFC and TSB are also supporting the programme through a series of workshops and promotional activities for the UKube1 pilot.


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