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09/06/15 14:55

US business boosts for Scotland

Global data company Spire to open European HQ in Glasgow

A US headquartered satellite-powered data company announced plans to open a European headquarters at Skypark, Glasgow today. Speaking at an US investor event in New York, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the announcement which will see the company create over 50 new jobs to support the establishment of a Nano-Satelilte design, development manufacturing and data management facility in Scotland.

The Glasgow site will be the company’s third global office, further reinforcing Scotland’s growing importance to the space industry worldwide. This significant expansion is being supported by £1.9m in grant funding from Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

During her visit to New York, the First Minister and the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, Lena Wilson, addressed an audience of 40 senior business people to promote ongoing opportunities for US firms to take advantage of Scotland’s competitive business environment, world-class sectors and talent pool. The event, which was co-hosted by Ernst & Young reinforces Scotland’s strong position as the UK’s biggest FDI region outside of London.

The First Minister said:

“This announcement clearly demonstrates Scotland’s growing influence in the space technology industry. Our cost effective and supportive business environment, strong and highly skilled workforce, and world-class universities are not only enabling the development of Scottish companies but also attracting the world’s most innovative companies such as Spire to Scotland.

"During my visit, I am pleased to be able to meet with companies already investing in Scotland and to meet those who are considering expanding in Scotland. The business event, jointly hosted by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Ernst and Young reinforces their latest Attractiveness Survey, which showed that 2014 was Scotland’s most successful year in the past decade for attracting US investments, and that we are continuing to hold our own as an attractive location for foreign investment in an increasingly competitive global market."

With an office in Glasgow, Spire will now have access to a strong base of talented engineers who are capable of solving some of today’s most complex challenges in order to develop the next generation of GPS Radio Occultation technology. Spire’s new European branch will also support Scotland’s developing space industry, creating more job opportunities and stimulating progressive technological advancements in the field of weather data collection for the entire world.

“The confidence placed in us from Scotland enables us to expand our global footprint to attract the skills and talent we need to deliver on the next generation of weather satellites,” said Spire’s CEO, Peter Platzer. “We are not only looking for the top one percent of the world’s talent pool, but the one percent that demand constant challenge and improvement that has come to embody Spire’s culture. And just as we aim to hire and nurture the best and brightest, we will continue to offer them a unique, well-rounded and international life experience with plenty of excitement to spare.”

Lena Wilson said:

"This is an exciting time to be in the US following EY’s recent research which showed almost half of all projects coming to Scotland in 2014 came from the US, representing a ten-year high for American investment."

“Attracting innovative US companies like Spire is a key component of our success. Spire’s enhanced presence in Scotland will make a significant contribution to our space industry expertise and will open up a wealth of opportunities for SMEs in Scotland operating in the technology space.”

Notes to editors

Follow @scotgovfm for updates on the First Minister’s trip to the US.

The full Ernst and Young Report can be read at: http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Issues/Business-environment/Ernst---Young-attractiveness-surveys