Innovators urged to join billion pound space race

Kevin Maddison GMP A SOFTWARE firm which uses satellite technology to combat world-wide piracy is urging the next generation of North East entrepreneurs to attend an event next week about two of Europe’s leading space business competitions.


The event, on May 20 will give advice on entering two prestigious space business competitions with prize money totalling £235,000 – the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) and the Copernicus Masters.


GMP Marine, part of Global Management Platform Ltd, based at NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, helps private maritime security companies tackle piracy by planning and managing their resources to protect their clients’ vessels.


The company’s maritime security software uses GPS tracking inside its applications to detect ships’ whereabouts and help provide vital planning around the large-scale security operations.


Kevin Maddison, GMP’s managing director, said: “It’s a very complex industry which is very difficult to police. One of the biggest logistical issues is planning. Some of these guys are handling 80-100 teams made up of four guys, each with weapons, and they can go through so many countries’ jurisdictions and rules and regulations just travelling to where they start working.


“Our software can help manage their clients’ communications, patrol boat activities, track the activities of their armed and unarmed transits and control their jobs and personnel.”


GMP, which builds software for clients in the UK, America and Europe, is developing its software to meet the system requirements for United Nations security initiatives being discussed to address global concerns.  It has recently begun working with SAMI, the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, with a view to further developing its software with them over the next few months.


GMP is one of many firms across the country using satellite applications, such as Earth observation, satellite radar, positioning, navigation and timing and satellite communications.


The North East Satellite Applications Catapult Centre of Excellence based at NETPark, which is run by Business Durham – the economic development company for County Durham – is one of only three such centres in the UK. It was set up to encourage businesses to tap into the multi-billion pound space sector through events, world class academic expertise and business development tools and support.


Dr Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said: “As fantastic companies such as GMP are showing, there are a myriad of uses for satellite applications and we’re looking for the next generation of entrepreneurs who need help developing a new product. We’re looking for ideas, not fully formed business plans at this stage, so we’d encourage anyone with an innovative satellite application to attend.”


Kevin Maddison added: “It’s great that we have the Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence based at NETPark and I would urge any would-be entrepreneurs to take up what support they can to access this market.”


This event is the latest in a series organised by the Centre of Excellence and will be at The Core, Newcastle.


For tickets to the event log onto:

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