Minister praises space technology partnership

May 22, 2014

The centre is the OU’s industry-leading collaboration with e2v, a UK-based technology firm specialising in high-performance imaging systems for the space and defence sectors.

The minister is pictured with OU staff and other dignitaries at the event, which showcased some of the CEI’s many achievements.

These include enhancing the ability of cameras on the European Space Agency’s Euclid spacecraft to withstand the volatile environment in space, helping it to achieve its mission to map the dark energy in the universe.

The partnership is one of the most productive and long-standing in the sector. Its most notable achievements so far include:

  • Research by CEI helped e2v secure the contract to supply detectors for the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission;
  • CEI researchers have contributed expertise to major international space missions including XMM-Newton, Gaia, Chandrayaan-1 and 2, UKube-1, ExoMars, Euclid and JUICE as well as numerous space technology development programmes;
  • A PhD programme that hosts on average eight co-sponsored full-time students and one e2v employee as a part-time student at any one time;
  • Two annual workshops hosted by the Centre where over 50 CEI and e2v researchers openly exchange knowledge and discoveries from their research.

CEI director Professor Andrew Holland said: “The CEI is a shining example of the tremendous benefits that can be achieved through universities working together with industry.

“Through this unique collaboration we have been able to significantly further our knowledge and expertise in the area of space imaging, positioning both the OU, and the UK, as a global leader in this field, while also supporting the needs of e2v through sharing knowledge and training staff.”

 E2v’s group marketing and technology director Marc Saunders said: “e2v has a long history of collaboration with universities and recognises its value. Over the past ten years, we have supported the Centre for Electronic Imaging through our continued significant funding, in-kind support and expertise.

“In turn, we have greatly benefited from this collaboration through knowledge transfer, recruitment of highly trained staff.”

The CEI has been an integral part of e2v’s Space Imaging Regional Growth Fund activity. A £3.7 million grant has led to 75 jobs being created within the past 18 months.

Mr Saunders said: “I look forward to seeing this collaboration continue for many years to come and advances in technology, understanding and expertise continue to grow.”

Other speakers included Dr Chris Castelli of the UK Space Agency and Dr. Mark McCaughrean of the European Space Agency.

The CEI is part of the OU’s Faculty of Science and is dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies for electronic image sensing and provides knowledge exchange and training between the UK technology industry and academia. 

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