NETPark business secures €400,000 funding to launch space project

Technology company aXenic is launching a project to develop revolutionary components for the next generation of telecommunications satellites after receiving a grant of €400,000.

Based at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham, aXenic is a leader in the design, development and production of optical modulators for satellite and aerospace communications.

The three-year grant from the European Horizon 2020 programme will be used to launch the SIPhoDiAS research and development (R&D) project.  The project brings together some of the biggest names in the space industry and aims to deliver faster and more affordable communications.

As satellites become more of a feature in the provision of telecommunications, their innovation will have an important part to play.  By developing components to reduce the size and weight of devices within space systems while increasing their power and speed, the build, launch and operational costs will be reduced.

Since moving into the space sector in 2015, aXenic has been supported by Business Durham through the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, which has provided advice, networking and opportunities to attend events. The company took part in the UK Space Agency Incubator Programme, which the Centre also facilitated.

Business Durham has led the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence since April 2014, engaging with over 670 organisations, establishing links between 277 business and universities, and helping companies secure £9.2M worth of funding.

Steve Clements, CEO at aXenic, said: “We are pleased once again to engage in leading edge space technology working with satellite builders, this time with Thales Alenia Space, as well as with the supply chain to help make the next generation of satellite communications a reality.  This can make a real difference to delivering a whole range of new global services from space, including the highest quality internet.”

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “We’re delighted to see aXenic launch this very exciting project with some of world’s leading space companies. The company has been involved with the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence at NETPark for several years and it’s fantastic to see them raise the profile of the North East within the wider space network, nationally and beyond.

“The space sector in the North East has been growing over recent years. We look forward to supporting and attracting more innovations and companies such as this.”

SIPhoDiAS (Space-grade Opto-electronic Interfaces for Photonic Digital and Analogue Very-high-throughput Satellite payloads)  is a consortia of leading European innovators with complementary expertise in this cutting edge sector.  The consortium members are: ALBIS Optoelectronics (Switzerland), ALTER Technology (Spain), ALTER Technology (UK), IHP Microelectronics (Germany), LEO Space Photonics R&D (Greece) and Thales Alenia Space (France).

To find out more about aXenic and its SIPhoDiAS project go to and

Source: Business Durham

Steve Clements, CEO at aXenic.

Other News

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek
Go to Top