Sofant Technologies, a Scottish radio tech company, has received €7.3 million (nearly £6.2 million) funding from the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). This financial backing will support the commercialisation of its low-power, low-cost satellite communications platform.
Signs contract with ESA
The funds from ESA were secured under an Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems contract. It will be used to support Sofant Technologies to commercialise the satellite communication terminal and let users connect to the cloud through a new generation of super-fast, low-latency satellite networks.
This announcement comes as Sofant Technologies gears up for its first Series A funding round, to scale its base in Edinburgh and triple its headcount from 16 to 48 over the contract period. This will create numerous highly-skilled jobs within Scotland’s engineering sector, from antenna and product design to component, product and software engineering.
Commenting on the ARTES contract, David Wither, CEO of Sofant Technologies, said: “We are honoured that the UKSA and the ESA have agreed to support the commercialisation of Sofant’s technology. They have a clear understanding of the technical challenges faced by the satellite communications industry as it seeks to exploit the promise of a new generation of satellite networks. They also share our belief that a scalable technology platform which solves power consumption and heat problems in phased array antennas is critical for the future wireless communications. We look forward to working with the team at the ESA throughout this project.”
Neutral carbon emissions by 2050
Sofant Technologies was incorporated as a University of Edinburgh spinout in 2011. With the use of patented and state-of-the-art RF MEMS (radio frequency microelectromechanical systems), the platform of Sofant Technologies solves the most challenging power consumption and heat issues faced by 5G and satellite communications systems.
Eliminating the need for complex and expensive cooling systems, Sofant’s platform will enable Satellite Communication and 5G wireless networks to operate with 70 percent less power, a significant step forward as 5G adoption accelerates towards 1 billion users by 2022.
By connecting devices wirelessly via a satellite network, Sofant Technologies’ terminal will reduce the need for terrestrial infrastructure and make it much easier for people in rural and remote locations to get online.
With COP26 underway, Sofant’s technology is moving towards further environmental savings, with the potential for the technology to be powered by renewable energy. Those relying on solar or wind technology in rural locations will have the ability to connect via their own power sources, further reducing individual carbon footprints in the pursuit of neutral carbon emissions by 2050.