A SPECIALIST space technology business has announced it is a setting up a permanent base in Scotland.

Celestia UK specialises in the advancement of state-of-the-art antenna systems used for tracking satellites.

It has announced today that Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park will be its permanent base in Scotland after a successful five-month residency at the university’s Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) facility.

Celestia says the move will enable it to embark on its next development phase, which includes setting up new lab and assembly facilities, as well as provide it with a larger base to deliver cutting-edge innovation.

Following a £2.5 million research and development award from Scottish Enterprise earlier this year to develop a new electronic scanning antenna, Celestia UK will create 18 new jobs in Scotland, recruiting engineers across several different disciplines.

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The Research Park is recognised internationally as a centre for high-calibre science and engineering research. In its new facilities, Celestia UK will also design and produce a next-generation flat panel satellite antenna for aircraft.

Scotland has a strong and growing reputation in the space industry with companies in the sector increasing from 104 to 132 between 2016 and 2019, while 18% of jobs in the UK space sector are based here.

Jose Alonso, chairman of Celestia UK’s parent company, Celestia Technologies Group, said: “We chose Scotland because of its burgeoning space sector, which is characterised by a high level of skill, R&D and investment.

“The enterprise team at GRID has been hugely supportive from day one, providing a highly collaborative environment for us as a dynamic, young tech start-up.

“They played a key role in helping us establish our business in Edinburgh and, in particular, in strengthening our links with the university and local businesses.

“For us, it feels like a setting where high tech companies and SMEs with a strong R&D focus in Scotland can really thrive.”