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Spaceflight specialists move their European headquarters to Harwell

 A Canadian company that specialises in spaceflight engineering through the development and integration of intelligent sensors involved in space exploration missions, has selected Harwell Innovation Centre as its European headquarters after winning a contract with the European Space Agency. Neptec Design Group Ltd is hoping to replicate its American success in Europe having achieved the highest possible performance rating from NASA in addition to becoming the first non-American company since 1985 to win the George M. Low Award, NASA’s premier award for quality and performance.

Headed-up by Managing Director, Mike Kearns, Neptec UK Limited has taken two offices at Harwell Innovation Centre (total 323 sq. ft.) and has already employed four members of staff with plans to employ a further 20 – 30 staff during the next three years. Mr Kearns, managing director, Neptec UK Limited, said: “It was a strategic decision to base the company at Harwell given its proximity to ESA combined with the UK Space Agency’s aggressive ambition to secure 10% of the overall space market by 2030.

“We have already identified synergies with companies based at Harwell Innovation Centre and plan on collaborating with them when the time is right. The networking potential is just one of the many invaluable benefits the centre offers a growing business such as Neptec.”

Harwell Innovation Centre, located at the Harwell Oxford Campus near Didcot, opened in 2000 with support from the UK Atomic Energy Authority and is managed by Oxford Innovation, the leading operator of business and innovation centres in the UK.  

Sandie Alcock, Centre Manager, Harwell Innovation Centre, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mike and the Neptec team to the innovation centre which is our third customer in the space market. The centre is placed in a fantastic location for companies looking to benefit from the growing UK space industry and enables start-ups and SMEs to have a flexible and hassle free approach to office space so they can focus on running a business.” Harwell Innovation Centre has just over 25,000 sq. ft. of office space ranging from 100 sq. ft. to 1,700 sq. ft. Serviced offices are available to let at short notice and the centre’s flexible approach means businesses can take more space within the centre as they expand.

Mr Kearns continues: “Harwell Innovation Centre will help to support Neptec throughout our early growth stages until we reach the point of needing our own facilities. The Harwell campus is a real space hub and a great asset to Oxfordshire with the innovation centre playing a crucial role in allowing smaller companies to tap into that market.”