Michelin Development backs Dundee satellite ground station start-up

Left to right: Neil Lonie, Brian Cairns of Michelin Development, Paul Crawford and Lois McLeod of Royal Bank of Scotland, Michelin Development’s banking partner

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MICHELIN Development, which provides funding and advice to firms to drive growth in areas where it has previously had facilities, is backing another innovative start-up, Dundee Satellite Station Ltd.

The programme, which provides funding and advice to firms with the potential to expand and provide high-quality, long-term employment, has helped Dundee Satellite Station Ltd to introduce systems to manage large streams of data.

This will underpin the delivery of services now offered by Dundee Satellite Station Ltd, including support for small satellite operations, access to data from Earth observation satellites, and technical expertise in R&D, modification and operation of ground stations. The company is looking to create five new roles in the near future.

The station’s founders, Neil Lonie and Paul Crawford, approached Michelin Development to help unlock this stage of growth for their business.

Paul said “We’ve had great support from Michelin Development and we are now able to undertake the work to provide direct fibre connectivity to the site and ensure we have the network capacity to quickly manage more data, which is crucial to the development of our business.

“This will enable us to move forward with our plans to grow and roll out our proposal to create five new scientific and technical jobs.”

Neil and Paul are world-renowned experts in the design, construction and operation of satellite ground stations. They set up their company in 2019, taking over from the former University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station, where they both worked for more than 30 years.

Over that period, Neil and Paul have been involved in ground station projects in Dundee and around the world, including the Antarctic and the Middle East, as well as projects for international space agencies such as NASA and ESA. Their work has also supported scientists studying climate patterns, natural disasters and other environmental phenomena by providing them with access to data from Earth monitoring satellites.

Neil said: “We are really pleased to be carrying on the Dundee legacy in satellite ground station operations for a new era. It’s a hugely exciting sector and we are looking forward to building our profile and activity at our Errol site to support projects around the world.”

High-potential, small and medium-sized enterprises in and around the Dundee and Angus Area may be eligible for support from Michelin Development, accessing services including unsecured, heavily-subsidised loans, as well as free, independent and expert advice to pave the way for growth.

Brian Cairns, of Michelin Development in Dundee, said: “Michelin Development is here to support employment in and around the city by helping high-potential firms and entrepreneurs turn their ambitions into reality. Dundee Satellite Station is a great example of a dynamic, sustainable business that we are in a position to help.

“Manufacturing, engineering or service sector (B2B) businesses with fewer than 250 employees may be eligible for support. Applications must be supported with a viable business plan, together with relevant financial accounting information, and also demonstrate the potential to create high-quality jobs.” 

Lois McLeod, Business Banking Regional Relationship Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, Michelin Development’s banking partner, added: “Scotland’s TMT sector is a thriving industry that contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. 

“Similarly, as Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee plays a strategically important role in the development of the country’s SME and corporate sectors.

“We are therefore delighted to have supported this venture between Michelin Development and Dundee Satellite Station Ltd, a partnership that crucially supports regional economic growth.

“Our purpose as a bank is to drive and empower enterprise at every level and provide businesses with not just finance, but the resources and tools they need to achieve success. That is why we will continue to invest and build upon the support we provide to Scottish businesses in 2022.”

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