Satellite cloud services company, Mangata Networks, has chosen Scotland as the location for its research and development activities as well as satellite manufacturing, space systems and core network operations.
Over the next few years, up to 575 new jobs will be created as part of Mangata’s state-of-the-art engineering and operations center for the manufacture and operation of satellites at Prestwick International Aerospace Park in Ayrshire.
Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The fact that Mangata has chosen to base its new satellite manufacturing facility in Ayrshire is a huge boost for the region, for the space sectors and manufacturing, and for Scotland as a whole.
“In addition to substantial and highly skilled employment opportunities, this will open up new avenues for the satellite manufacturing supply chain and help position Scotland as a leading center for space and manufacturing innovation – all by supporting the objectives of our space strategy.”
Brian Holz, CEO of Mangata Networks, said: “Scotland, Ayrshire, local regions and the UK have expressed great confidence in our system and our mission. We are very grateful to be able to locate Mangata’s leading product development, satellite manufacturing and network operations teams in a state-of-the-art facility in Prestwick.
“We will use this facility to bring our satellite connectivity and intelligent edge computing solutions to enterprises around the world. Today, our customer base has already committed to more than 1.5 Tbps pre-launch, approaching the full capacity of our initial 32 satellites. As the business grows, Mangata’s network can scale to over 750 satellites. This factory will be a key enabler, allowing us to scale and deliver cost-effective space technology to the markets that really need it.
The hub is supported by innovative funding and a public sector partner assistance package, totaling over £83.7 million from Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government, UK Government and South Ayrshire Council. This funding includes £54.5m from Scottish Enterprise and £29.2m from the Ayrshire Growth Deal provided on commercial terms (i.e. not grant funding) which will see this funding repaid over the next 15 years.
Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Scottish Enterprise, said: “This investment has the potential to be a game-changer by helping to unlock economic opportunities in the global commercial space sector. Mangata’s decision to locate this project in Ayrshire is a strong endorsement of our ability to support and nurture the global industries of the future. Not only will this bring hundreds of new quality jobs to Scots, but it will also be a catalyst for a new supply chain, opening up opportunities and partnerships both nationally and internationally.
“We look forward to working closely with Mangata to complete its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Prestwick International Aerospace Park.”
Juliette Neu, Chief Experience Officer at Mangata Networks, said: “All of the Scottish organizations involved have been incredibly supportive of our efforts to close the gap in global connectivity and access. Mangata is passionate about connecting humanity all over the world, using the systems we will be developing in Scotland. We saw this same spirit of service in the local and global community in our interactions in Scotland. They are so determined to help each other. This motivation is at the heart of our shared values and mission.
The new Mangata facility will produce and test over 24 mid-range satellites every three months, becoming a focal point and significant asset to the Scottish and UK space sectors as well as a centerpiece for technology and innovation. The facility is capable of qualifying, integrating and testing satellites up to 1500 kg for space and launch environments. From this engineering center, the company will establish an operations center that will manage its satellite systems and global network.
The majority of new jobs will be high-paying, highly-skilled technical engineering positions in product development, satellite design and manufacturing, and end-to-end system operation. Construction will begin in early 2023, with manufacturing and operations teams expected to move in from late 2024.
Mangata is building a global satellite telecommunications network with sustainable advanced technology. It is designed to reach and connect any community, anywhere on Earth, breaking down barriers and inequalities for the four billion people without adequate internet access. It will support local content creation and enable global sharing.
Prestwick is already home to Scotland’s largest and most established aerospace cluster and, thanks to the £80m investment from the Ayrshire Growth Deal, is now focused on tapping into the global space market booming business to become Britain’s leading aerospace and space centre.
South Ayrshire Council leader Martin Dowey said: “We are delighted that Mangata have chosen to settle in Prestwick and have great pleasure in welcoming them to South Ayrshire. We look forward to working with them and seeing the many benefits they bring to our local communities, starting with hundreds of jobs.
“This is really great news as Mangata is exactly the type of business we want to attract to South Ayrshire. The global satellite market is booming, and we aim to be at the center of it with a sector dynamic and thriving space.This will create high value-added jobs and exciting future careers for our young people, particularly in STEM-related opportunities, but also in broader support roles.
“Council has now secured approval for a major investment program to provide commercial workspace in Prestwick. This global and bold approach gives companies like Mangata the confidence that we can make Prestwick a global space cluster.
“We are already anticipating the first satellite launches from Prestwick Spaceport from spring 2024 and, thanks to our very ambitious space programme, we are on track to become Europe’s leading space hub.”
Larry Schwartz, COO at Mangata Networks, said: “Our Prestwick site will include a satellite operations center to operate our satellites after launch. Our facility will also include a network operations center to operate our end-to-end global communications network as well as an R&D center to develop our intelligent microEdge data centers. Having all of these operations under one roof makes us extremely efficient in all aspects of our technology development and operational networks. This is critical to providing our customers with a state-of-the-art network that includes intelligent edge computing and cloud services solutions.
“We look forward to working with local universities and businesses, building partnerships, and integrating technology into our network and product solutions. We will develop these capabilities in Scotland and help these partners scale globally, using our network.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “The creation of this space manufacturing hub will create jobs and investment in Ayrshire and put Scotland at the forefront of an innovative industry.
“The UK Government is investing £10 million in these state-of-the-art facilities as part of our £32 million support for Ayrshire’s space and aerospace programme.”
This technology will be deployed in Scotland where the network created can be tested with customers and used to incubate Scottish startups. These startups will gain exposure to Mangata’s investors and have the opportunity to showcase their own technologies and applications, potentially exporting them globally, through Mangata’s network.
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