By Helen Weedon, Managing Director, Satcoms Innovation Group

In case you missed it, this year started with me stepping into some very big shoes to take over the running of the Satcoms Innovation Group. To say that is a daunting prospect would be an understatement, but I am glad that I have an excellent team around me and some big plans to drive the group even further forward.

You will hopefully have seen the announcement that we have added two new membership types: academic and startup. There is an important reason behind each of these. The satellite industry is full of some really innovative fresh new companies and we want to give them a chance to engage with the industry as a whole, learn about the challenges being faced and come up with new ways to solve them. We have seen this in action from other members in the past so I’m certain bringing in more new companies will deliver some amazing new tools to help the industry become even more efficient. That is also the reason behind the new innovation hub, which will give those companies another platform to get their voice heard.

As for the academic tier, this is something Martin has been passionate about for a while. If you go to any event in this industry, the chances are the average age will be pretty high. We are not getting enough new people coming into satellite. If we engage with pupils, they will hopefully be excited by the career prospects and help bring new talent. Not only that, but a lot of Universities out there are doing some interesting research and we should be hearing about it.

Also new this year will be the SIG awards. We will be launching them later this year, so stay tuned for more information. I think it is really important to recognise some of the companies, and individuals, doing great work to improve our industry and I’m really excited about what we can do here.

We also have a lot planned in terms of events this year. We will of course be at Satellite 2020, where will again be joining forces with ETL Systems to host a drinks reception (more details to follow). A couple of our Directors are speaking at the Satellite summit during CABSAT and we are organising some of the satellite programme at ConnecTechAsia, as well as returning with our innovation tours. Of course, our own workshop is taking place in May at Goonhilly and for the first time ever we have some schools coming in to learn about space and satellites and to work on their own related projects. I, for one, am really looking forward to that.

If you would like to find out more about our plans, please do get in touch or schedule a meeting with us at one of the shows!