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Petroc Launches Environmental Space Living Lab

Petroc is pleased to announce the launch of The Environmental Space Living Lab (ESLL) alongside the recently completed phase II of its Cotie Innovation Launchpad facility at its North Devon Campus. Join the college in celebrating this important milestone in the development of support for local businesses and start-ups to harness the power of innovative technology.

The Environmental Space Living Lab combines cutting-edge equipment and real-world test environments. These will enable farmers and others to address agricultural, aquacultural and broader environmental challenges by adopting innovative and space-enabled technologies through collaboration with technology providers and academia.

Funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and led by the Satellite Applications Catapult, the ESLL will ultimately have a presence in three locations across the South West and will act as a showcase environment to kick-start trials and demonstrations of sustainable agricultural and environmental technology.

Alongside the ESLL, Petroc’s Cotie Innovation Launchpad has been expanded to provide local entrepreneurs and small businesses with access to the latest augmented/virtual reality and immersive technologies for content creation and collaboration to promote product, service and process innovation and support business growth. These new resources, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, complement the existing facilities, which incorporate a development zone with 3D manufacturing technology, conferencing facilities, open-plan hot-desking and high-spec PCs, cleanroom, and design pods.

Bill Blythe, Petroc’s Vice Principal, Finance, Resources & Regional Affairs said: ‘Technology and space-enabled solutions have the potential to transform the way we develop and deliver products and services, particularly in terms of managing our land and water resources, but it can be extremely difficult for those on the ground to access or indeed shape the latest innovations. We are delighted to be working with the Satellite Applications Catapult and other key stakeholders to empower our local farming communities and other businesses to harness the power of cutting-edge knowledge and resources to drive business growth and productivity at the same time as protecting our valuable natural land and seascapes. We look forward to welcoming interested parties to our launch event.’

Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer at Satellite Applications Catapult said:

‘The Catapult is extremely excited to embark on this collaborative journey with the Heart of the South West LEP and the Environmental Space Living Lab consortium to support farmers and land managers in the region. We are excited to share how satellite-enabled technologies can help accelerate the UK’s path to a carbon-neutral future, transform environmental management, and increase agricultural sustainability.  Our decentralised approach will bridge gaps within the region, amplifying the Environmental Living Lab’s impact in advancing the levelling up agenda.’

At the launch event, attendees are invited to delve into the transformative potential of space-enabled and autonomous technologies, including robotics, remote sensing, and 5G connectivity. These technologies are already revolutionising sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, aquaculture, and habitat management and guests will have the opportunity to see how.

The ESLL and Cotie Innovation Launchpad are augmented by Petroc’s University Centre, housed within the South West Institute of Technology building. Together, these three facilities coalesce into a dynamic hub of knowledge transfer, fuelling economic growth and productivity within northern Devon’s rural and coastal communities.

The launch will be hosted in person on 21 September 2023 and is open to all interested participants. Early registration is recommended to secure a space. 

For more information and registration, please visit the Event Registration Link. Join Petroc in embarking on this exciting journey of technological innovation, collaboration, and sustainable growth.


12 September 2023


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