Sofant Signs €7.3m European Space Agency Contract
8th November 2021
London, UK – 4 November 2021 – NetScientific plc (AIM: NSCI), the international life sciences and sustainability technology investment and commercialisation Group, announces that its portfolio company, Sofant Technologies (“Sofant“), the leading 5G and Satcom antenna developer based in Edinburgh, has signed a €7.3M contract with the UK Space Agency (“UKSA”) and the European Space Agency (“ESA”) to support the commercialisation of its low-cost low-power satellite communications platform, of which 50% can be claimed as non-dilutive grant funding, with the balance coming from Sofant.
The funding from the ESA – secured under an Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) contract – will support Sofant Technologies to complete the commercialisation of a satellite communication terminal, allowing users to connect to the cloud via a new generation of low-latency, super-fast satellite networks.
Applying patented and state of the art RF MEMS (radio frequency microelectromechanical systems), Sofant Technologies’ platform solves the most pressing power consumption and heat problems faced by the next generation of 5G and satellite communications systems.
Eliminating the need for complex and expensive cooling systems, Sofant’s patented RF MEMS (radio frequency microelectromechanical systems) platform will enable Satellite Communication (SatCom) and 5G wireless networks to operate with 70% less power.
By connecting devices wirelessly via a satellite network, Sofant Technologies’ terminal will reduce the needs for terrestrial infrastructure and make it much easier for people in rural and remote locations to get online.
With COP26 underway, Sofant’s technology is moving towards further environmental savings, with the potential for the technology to be powered by renewable energy. Those relying on solar or wind technology in rural locations will have the ability to connect via their own power sources, further reducing individual carbon footprints in the pursuit of neutral carbon emissions by 2050.
This contract follows the recent fundraise in the company, advised by NetScientific’s corporate finance and venture capital division EMV Capital Ltd, deploying its capital light investment approach and leveraging non-dilutive funding to raise a total of £843k – including a £300k direct investment from NetScientific.
NetScientific has advised on £2.3M of previous investments in Sofant, representing 25.7% of its paid up capital, and is represented on its Board by Dr. Iliev.
Commenting on the contract, David Wither, CEO of Sofant Technologies, said: “We are honoured that the UKSA and the ESA have agreed to support the commercialisation of Sofant’s technology. They have a clear understanding of the technical challenges faced by the satellite communications industry as it seeks to exploit the promise of a new generation of satellite networks. They also share our belief that a scalable technology platform which solves power consumption and heat problems in phased array antennas is critical for the future wireless communications. We look forward to working with the team at the ESA throughout this project.
“This announcement comes as Sofant Technologies gears up for its first Series A funding round, to scale its base in Edinburgh and triple its headcount from 16 to 48 over the contract period. This will create numerous highly-skilled jobs within Scotland’s engineering sector, from antenna and product design to component, product and software engineering.”
Dr. Ilian Iliev, CEO of NetScientific commented: “The UK Space Agency and European Space Agency’s support for Sofant further demonstrates the strength of NetScientific’s investment thesis – combining our capital light investment approach with access to non-dilutive public funding in high-impact sectors. The non-dilutive funding will support Sofant in going through the next major value inflection points, help attract major industry partners, while limiting dilution to shareholders.”
For more information, please contact:
Ilian Iliev, CEO
WH Ireland (NOMAD, Financial Adviser and Broker)
Chris Fielding / Darshan Patel
Nick Rome/ Paul McManus/