A global space tech firm is to create hundreds of jobs in Glasgow following £14.7 million funding from Scotland.
Spire Global intends to employ 260 people over the next five years after receiving £6.7m of Regional Selective Assistance funding and an £8m commercial convertible loan note from the Scottish Investment Bank.
The San Francisco-headquartered firm currently employs 60 people at its main UK office in Glasgow, building, testing and operating nanosatellites that monitor aviation, maritime and weather patterns.
The additional money will also help fund a move to new 40,000 sq ft premises in the city’s Skypark.
“Spire Global’s expansion sends a strong message that even in these uncertain times, Scotland remains open for business and has the potential to be Europe’s leading space nation,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
“Our space sector is already punching above its weight, with almost one-fifth of all UK jobs in this industry based north of the border and Scotland producing more small satellites than any other country in Europe.
“This £14.7 million investment will help Spire Global develop its infrastructure and technologies, which in turn will create dozens of high-tech and highly skilled jobs and training opportunities in Scotland’s space sector.
“Only five years ago I announced Spire Global was creating 50 jobs by opening its office in Scotland – to see the rapid expansion of this innovative company shows the strength of our workforce and pool of talent coming from our world class universities.”
FM @NicolaSturgeon visited @SpireGlobal earlier today to announce investment in the company. The £14.7m funding will create high-tech and highly skilled jobs and training opportunities in Scotland’s space sector #ukspace2019 #ScotlandisNow ?? ?? https://t.co/LXDuk1HXbY
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) September 25, 2019
Spire Global chief executive Peter Platzer said: “We want to work with the industry to build the world’s most effective weather forecast and to be a valuable contributing member of the Global Weather Enterprise.
“We will continue to scale the company and grow our workforce in Glasgow, along with our global product offering, to help countries across all industries, as well as governments tackle ever more frequent and extreme weather events in this era of climate change.
“Glasgow has been a fantastic location for us, with exceptional talent and people with a phenomenal ‘can-do’ attitude and true grit.
“We are excited to substantially expand our presence here and look forward to the continuation of strong partnerships within Scotland, the UK Space Agency, and the wider UK space ecosystems.”
Charlie Smith, managing director for international development, strategy and technology at Scottish Enterprise, said the funding “underscores our commitment to make Scotland Europe’s leading space nation”.
He added: “Ever since Scottish Enterprise first engaged with Spire Global back in 2015, we have developed a fantastic working relationship with the company, culminating in this unprecedented level of funding announced today.
“Spire Global’s expansion plans for Glasgow are incredibly exciting and will provide a huge boost to the Scottish economy.
“Providing support to innovative international companies, such as Spire Global, to allow it to flourish in Scotland is a major priority for Scottish Enterprise as part of our Strategic Framework.
“Scottish Enterprise looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with Spire Global as the company significantly enhances its presence in Glasgow.”