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Harwell Innovation Centre manager Sandie Alcock and tenant Jim Thomson of SATcase which is expanding into new office space
Picture: Ric Mellis
4/3/2015 Harwell
Catchline: Harwell IC SATcase
Request: Kelly Lea

Revolutionary rescue device caused rapid expansion at Harwell Innovation Centre

A revolutionary communications device capable of turning a common smartphone into a lifesaving satellite phone is poised to become a global success following its development at Harwell Innovation Centre.

SATcase™, the company that’s developed a product of its namesake, has expanded its headquarters at Harwell Innovation Centre for the third time since starting-up in 2013 and is currently preparing to open offices in Canada and Australia.

The smart product is already available to pre-order online and is designed to help people who rely on communication for their safety such as search and rescue teams, aid workers, media, military, lone workers or even people who live in remote locations without mobile network coverage.

Company founder, Jim Thomson, who has previously been responsible for a search and rescue service, rapidly deploying helicopters and crews to disaster areas, said: “I actually started off designing SATcase™ on my kitchen table in Newbury but quickly set-up a virtual office at Harwell Innovation Centre as I could see potential benefits of being linked to the Satellite Applications Catapult based onsite. I also relocated to Oxfordshire.”

He continues: “SATcase™ is due to be launched this summer so we are entering very exciting times. To date we have been undergoing an intense period of R&D, which saw us take a small office within the centre six months ago, and we have just expanded again to accommodate our now ten strong and growing team.”

SATcase™ has already been inundated with pre-orders. Users simply install an app on their phone and place it inside a SATcase™ to ensure communication is maintained irrespective of location. It also removes the need to carry cumbersome kit associated with traditional satellite phones and fits neatly inside a coat pocket.

Sandie Alcock, Centre Manager, Harwell Innovation Centre, said: “We are extremely proud to be able to support the growth of a business that could be responsible for saving thousands of lives all over the world. We had space at Harwell Innovation Centre to support the expansion of SATcase™ and I hope we attract more innovative start-ups who can benefit from our prestigious onsite connections.”

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.

The 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 Thomson concludes: “I’ve been extremely impressed by the centre team and the flexibility demonstrated to accommodate our office moves at relatively short notice. We will be relying on their flexibility again later this year as we envisage doubling in size by 2016.”

SATcase™ is interested in hearing from local people with a technical or finance background who have the desire to be part of a start-up with global expansion plans and the ambition to revolutionise communications to help save lives worldwide.

For further information about SATcase™ visit: www.satcase.com