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FL: OneWeb Satellites Selects FL’s Space Coast for Mfg Operations

20 Apr, 2016


The Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce that OneWeb Satellites, a company working to create satellite based communications network capable of delivering internet connectivity globally, will be locating a 100,000 square-foot satellite manufacturing facility on Florida’s Space Coast at Exploration Park just south of Kennedy Space Center.

OneWeb Satellites, founded by technology entrepreneur and former Google executive Greg Wyler, will design, build and launch an extensive network of small, low earth orbit satellites that will enable the delivery of Internet services to every corner of the Earth at a low cost. These satellites will be manufactured at the Space Coast facility and will be mass produced utilizing fewer components making them lighter and easier to launch.

Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb Satellites said: “I’m really pleased that we have selected Florida for our new manufacturing, assembly and test operations facility. In addition to the factory development, Space Florida has also offered significant investment in our test equipment. We anticipate many of our suppliers to locate nearby given the unique nature of our operations and the pro-business climate offered by Florida. The facility will be a big part of our ability to lower satellite costs and speedily move forward and together with Airbus Defense and Space to grow the business long term. It will directly benefit OneWeb’s customers.”

The EDC of Florida’s Space Coast worked diligently with Space Florida, Enterprise Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Brevard County and the North Brevard Economic Development Zone for over a year on this highly competitive project. This included extensive research, serving as regional economic liaison and managing all aspects of the proposal to ensure the best business case was demonstrated.

“Once again Brevard County is chosen to manufacture an innovative product unique to the aerospace industry, demonstrating our position as a leader in capturing the next generation of space related activities,” stated Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.

OneWeb Satellites, which also opened an office in Washington DC earlier this year, searched notable sites worldwide. In the U.S., the state of Alabama was considered as a potential location, and internationally, Canada and France also vied for the company’s corporate investment.

Frank DiBello, president and chief executive officer of Space Florida said: “The announcement of OneWeb’s presence here at Exploration Park is one that perfectly aligns with Space Florida’s vision of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and Florida as the world’s leading space commerce center. Our ever-expanding commercial space industry at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport will now be home to the most advanced satellite manufacturing capability in the world, and Space Florida looks forward to OneWeb Satellite’s success.”

The company plans to make a capital investment of nearly $85 million and projects the creation of 250 high tech manufacturing and engineering jobs with an average wage of $65,579 within five years. The annual projected economic impact is estimated to be in excess of $36 million upon project completion.

“In just a few short years, Brevard County has achieved what many others have not; achieving major economic growth after a major economic downturn" said Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jim Barfield. “The shutdown of the Shuttle program with the cancellation of the Constellation program forced us to create our own future; bringing manufacturing, aerospace, and aviation companies like Embraer and others here. Coupled with Brevard County’s excellent quality of life, tourism, and education system we are positioned well as we work together to keep the momentum going.”

“By putting NBEDZ funds to work for our community, we are growing high wage employment.” said Brevard County Commissioner District 1 Robin Fisher. “This project is a perfect fit within our ever expanding cluster of technology and aerospace companies in North Brevard.”

OneWeb has teamed with a number of partners and suppliers to achieve their vision for connectivity. Airbus Defence and Space will begin by building test satellites at its facility in Toulouse, France; Arianespace and Virgin Galactic will provide launch services support; Hughes Network Systems will build ground monitoring and management hardware; and Intelsat will manage the satellite fleet for the company.

About OneWeb Satellites

OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture equally owned by OneWeb and Airbus Defense and Space, to design and build the 900 satellites of the OneWeb constellation, which will offer high-speed internet with global coverage.

About OneWeb

OneWeb’s mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone and is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world. With more than 10 terabits per second of new capacity, it will transparently extend the networks of mobile operators and ISP’s to serve new coverage areas, bringing voice and data access to consumers, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions and other end users. Visit OneWeb.world.

About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast

The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.

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