Located in the port of Marín (Pontevedra, Galicia), it will offer global satellite communications services, development of naval electronics systems and training
Satlink, the Spanish satellite communications and solutions technology company, has launched a high-tech R&D centre based in Galicia for the fishing industry. The new facilities, located in the port of Marín, Pontevedra, have offices covering a usable area of 605 m2 (6,512 sqft) and currently employ over 20 highly qualified professionals. Satlink aims to recruit new resources at a rate of 10% per year.
According to Faustino Velasco, President of Satlink, “With this centre, we are meeting the challenge of forming a closer partnership with the Spanish fishing fleet, a leader in Europe and one of the most admired and technologically advanced fleets in the world. We are especially pleased that the centre is based in Marín, an emblematic enclave for this industry. We also want to make it a benchmark centre for training highly qualified professionals and attracting talent focused on the use of new technologies for more efficient and sustainable fishing,” Velasco said.
The new Satlink facilities will mainly host three types of services. The first one is a satellite communications technology centre, offering technical support on a global scale and complementing the support provided from its facilities in Madrid. Satlink currently manages over 2,000 such communications services for ground, maritime and aeronautical use, and provides satellite connectivity to more than 1,400 vessels worldwide. Furthermore, in the fishing industry, it oversees over 1,500 vessels with VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) positioning services, and more than 250 vessels with on-board EM (Electronic Monitoring) systems.
Noteworthy in this regard is the fact that Satlink will have its ‘‘Connected Vessel’’ project based in these new facilities. A key player in the digitisation of the fishing industry, it focuses its satellite connectivity solutions on improving operational efficiency, crew safety and welfare, and reducing its impact on the ecosystem.
Secondly, the centre will also develop production and configuration services for naval electronics steering gear, navigation, on-board safety, radio communications and hydroacoustics, among other solutions. These services will support all types of ships, both civil and military.
Lastly, the new facilities will act as a technical training centre for the use of new technologies in fishing and maritime activities. Accordingly, the company expects to train more than 50 professionals per year at its facilities.
In addition to technical support, R&D and training, Satlink aims to turn its new centre into a hub for attracting talent focused on the application of new technologies and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to fishing and maritime activities. To this end, the company actively collaborates with several vocational training centres in Pontevedra, under the framework of the partnership agreements signed to this end, as well as with other public bodies, such as the Pontevedra Provincial Council, through which it has recruited technical staff from various disciplines.
In the view of Faustino Velasco, “It was essential for us to have a strong presence in Galicia due to the large number of clients we deal with in this region, as well as the expertise and know-how that the fishermen themselves bring to the development of our work. This cooperation,” continues Velasco, “which we identify as a crucial element of our growth strategy, began in 2019 through the acquisition of the company Electrónica Rías Bajas (ERB), and is now paying off with the opening of these headquarters.”
This new Satlink centre is a logical outcome of the company’s strategy to reinforce and adapt its service capacity to the needs of fleets in the most streamlined and efficient way, especially to those of the Galician fleet, due to its particular relevance. This is why, in July 2019, Satlink acquired the company ERB. Based in Marín, for over two decades ERB has maintained an outstanding position in the deployment and maintenance of the most advanced technology in the field of naval electronics, for all types of ships and vessels (fishing, merchant, passenger, recreational, etc.).
In addition, and under the ‘Connected Vessel’ project, Satlink will also provide its full range of fishery solutions from Marín. Specifically, the company develops and offers fisheries management solutions for public authorities and international regulators, including vessel tracking systems such as the Blue Box or VMS, and electronic monitoring (EM) systems. It also develops solutions to improve the efficiency and sustainability of fishing, such as selective smart buoys, or its new comprehensive oceanographic and meteorological information service. Furthermore, Satlink improves crew welfare through satellite connectivity solutions providing value-added services such as entertainment, social networking, videoconferencing or telemedicine.
The opening ceremony of the new Satlink facilities was attended today by María Ramallo Vázquez, Mayor of Marín; Silvia Cortiñas Fernández, Secretary-General of the Department of Maritime Affairs of the Regional Government of Galicia; and Silvia Solís Reyes, Deputy Director-General for Sustainable Economy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
The conference also brought together a large representation of Spanish fishery, through various industry associations, such as ARVI (Vigo Port Shipowners’ Cooperative), OPAGAC (Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezer Vessels), OPP (Organisation of Lugo Fishing Producers), FNCP (National Federations of Fishing Guilds), LDAC (Long Distance Advisory Council) and OPENAPA (Organisation of Pelagic Longline National Producers).
Moreover, it gathered many representatives from other areas and institutions, such as the Naval Military School, the Port Authority of Marín, the Coastguard Service of Galicia, the maritime districts pertaining to the Ministry of Transport and Mobility (MITMA), the provincial maritime service of the Civil Guard and the Customs Service of Pontevedra, among other local and regional representatives.