July 22, 2009

ESA opens British research facility

The European Space Agency officially opened its new research facility in Britain Wednesday.

The facility will focus on science and exploration, with an emphasis on robotics and climate change, the BBC reported.

The center is part of a group of high-tech businesses and academic institutions operating on the Harwell innovation campus near Oxford.

ESA officials said they anticipate the new unit will become its hub for industrial intelligence, a venture seeking to pull new ideas from the private sector into the agency.

We at ESA are looking at the Harwell site to see how we can work differently on the techno front with industry -- not just British industry, but European industry in general, David Southwood, ESA's chief scientist, told BBC News.