Global aerospace and security company, Lockheed Martin, has announced a collaboration with Northumbria University that includes an initial planned investment of up to £630,000 to support the development of skills, research and technology across the region.

Space and solar physics research is an area of excellence at Northumbria University and the university has invested heavily in recent years in world class facilities and leading experts to drive its research and education in this area.

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Lockheed Martin continues to build plans to expand its manufacturing space operations in the UK and is exploring options to establish a new research, development and satellite manufacturing facility which would support up to 2,300 jobs for the North East.

The company’s investment forms part of a wider £7m investment into engineering facilities for research and teaching at Northumbria, funded by the Office for Students, the UK Space Agency and the university itself.

This investment will help to put Northumbria University, the city of Newcastle and the wider North East in a strong position to be a leader in the global space economy, supporting new research, developing innovative technologies for export, and generating skills for a high growth sector.

Lockheed Martin is initially set to invest in two strategic projects including finding new ways to transmit power to enable wireless charging of satellites, and for new forms of inter-satellite communications. It will also sponsor two PhDs in solar physics.

The initiative comes hot on the heels of a similar collaboration between Lockheed Martin and RTC North that aims to give small and medium enterprises greater access to UK, US and global programmes.

Paul Livingston, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, said, “I am delighted to announce our initial collaboration with Northumbria University, which demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to investing in a long-term space industrial base in the UK.

“Our plans will grow the UK as a space nation, help it become a science and technology superpower, and contribute to levelling up the economy.”

Professor John Woodward, Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, added: “We are excited to develop our relationship with Lockheed Martin and look forward to working with them on satellite technology, space science research, and enriching our portfolio to deliver high-quality satellite-skills-related education.

“Lockheed Martin is a global leader in aeronautic, space and satellite research, partnering with the likes of NASA and the UK and European Space Agencies with whom we already work. We are delighted that Lockheed Martin recognise the expertise in satellite and space technology within Northumbria University and the potential for the wider North East region.”

The collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Northumbria University follows a successful Space Skills and Suppliers Summit, which was held in Newcastle in March, in partnership with Invest North East England. The summit brought together potential new partners from industry and academia keen to work on initiatives linked with growing the UK space sector.

Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said that Lockheed Martin’s collaboration with Northumbria University would ensure the region has the skills and capability to drive forward the Government’s National Space Strategy, and would showcase the talent and innovation within the North East.

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