The Standing Committee of Tynwald on Economic Policy Review has heard testimony from Chris Stott, Chairman and CEO of ManSat, about the development of the Island’s space industry.
Members of the Committee included Chairman Leonard Singer MHK and Howard Quayle MHK.
Mr Stott answered questions about ManSat’s successful partnerships with Government over the last 12 years.
Mr Stott said: ‘Space is a long-term industry – and a long-term business. ManSat is the originator and continuing driver of the space industry in the Isle of Man. Our core function is compliance and due diligence of the regulatory process for the filing and use of satellite licenses on behalf of the Isle of Man Communications Commission.’
Formed in 1998, ManSat began active trading in 2000. Mr Stott said there was no space industry in the Isle of Man before ManSat.
There are approximately 54 satellite operators in the world. However, only 14 of these have shown interest in making satellite filings outside their home countries, and of those 14, four have chosen the Isle of Man as their base – making the Island the third biggest player in the satellite filing business, behind the US and the UK.
Mr Stott said: ‘As a result of the Government’s marketing contract with ManSat, the Isle of Man is witnessing the greatest single growth of the commercial space industry on record to date.
‘Over 35 space companies have been formed on the Isle of Man, with an additional 22 local Manx companies working to service the industry, creating 20 full-time positions and enabling a further 100 people to be involved in the profession.’
Mr Stott added: ‘The competition for the business of those 14 satellite operators is focused and intense. ManSat is a Manx David competing against Global Goliaths, and succeeding.’
Since its formation, ManSat has become well-known for its support of Manx students and education in the Isle of Man in general, including two annual scholarships to the NASA United Space School in Houston, Texas. In cooperation with the Pete Conrad Foundation, ManSat also sponsors and supports the annual Spirit of Innovation competition for Manx High Schools.