General
22 May 2014

Universities and Science Minister Joins 10th Anniversary Celebration of Space Imaging Partnership

Rt. Hon. David Willetts with Representatives of the CEI and e2v

Rt. Hon. David Willetts with Representatives of the CEI and e2v

The Minister for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP gave the keynote speech at a special event at The Open University (OU) yesterday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI). The Centre is the OU’s industry-leading collaboration with e2v - a UK-based technology firm specialising in high-performance imaging systems for the space and defence sectors.

The event also highlighted some of the many achievements of the CEI over the last ten years, such as enhancing the ability of cameras on the European Space Agency’s Euclid spacecraft to withstand the volatile environment in space, helping it to achieve its mission to map the dark energy in the Universe. In addition, the event celebrated the mutual benefits of the partnership, which is one of the most productive and long-standing in the sector. Other speakers included Dr Chris Castelli of the UK Space Agency and Dr. Mark McCaughrean of the European Space Agency.

Some of the most notable achievements of the partnership so far include:
- in 2012 research by CEI helped e2v secure the contract to supply detectors for the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission;
- CEI researchers have contributed expertise to a number of major international space missions including XMM-Newton, Gaia, Chandrayaan-1 and 2, UKube-1, ExoMars, Euclid and JUICE as well as numerous space technology development programmes;
- a PhD programme that hosts on average eight co-sponsored full-time students and one e2v employee as a part-time student at any one time;
- two annual workshops hosted by the Centre where over 50 CEI and e2v researchers openly exchange knowledge and discoveries from their research.

Professor Andrew Holland, Director of the CEI at The Open University said:
“The CEI is a shining example of the tremendous benefits that can be achieved through universities working together with industry. Through this unique collaboration we have been able to significantly further our knowledge and expertise in the area of space imaging, positioning both the OU, and the UK, as a global leader in this field, whilst also supporting the needs of e2v through sharing knowledge and training staff.”

Marc Saunders, Group Marketing and Technology Directors at e2v said:
“e2v has a long history of collaboration with universities and recognises its value. Over the past ten years, we have supported the Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI) through our continued significant funding, in-kind support and expertise. In turn, we have greatly benefited from this collaboration through knowledge transfer, recruitment of highly trained staff, as well as the CEI being an integral part of e2v’s Space Imaging Regional Growth Fund (RGF) activity, where a £3.7M grant has already seen 75 jobs created within the past 18 months. I look forward to seeing this collaboration continue for many years to come and advances in technology, understanding and expertise continue to grow.”

Formed in 2004 the CEI is part of the OU’s Faculty of Science and is dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies for electronic image sensing and provides knowledge exchange and training between the UK technology industry and academia.

ENDS

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