DEO Press Releases

Governor Rick Scott: OneWeb Selects Florida’s Space Coast for Satellite Manufacturing Operations

Apr 19, 2016

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Today, Governor Scott announced that OneWeb, a global communications network company, will expand in Brevard County and create 250 high-tech manufacturing and engineering jobs. The company plans to locate a 100,000 square foot satellite manufacturing facility on Florida’s Space Coast at Exploration Park, just south of Kennedy Space Center. The project will also invest nearly $85 million into the community. OneWeb is working to create a global, satellite based communications network capable of delivering internet connectivity anywhere in the world.


Governor Scott said, “It’s great news that OneWeb has chosen to build one of the world’s most advanced aerospace manufacturing facilities right here in Florida. We have worked hard to permanently eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment so companies like OneWeb can succeed right here in Florida. I look forward to seeing OneWeb Satellite’s continued success in Florida.” 


OneWeb, which was founded by technology entrepreneur and former Google executive Greg Wyler, will design, build and launch an extensive network of small, low earth orbit satellites that will enable the delivery of internet services to every corner of the Earth at a low cost. These micro satellites will be manufactured at the Space Coast facility and will be mass produced utilizing fewer components thus making them lighter and easier to launch.


Greg Wyler, Founder and Chairman of OneWeb, said, “This new facility is another step in the dream of enabling affordable internet access for the entire globe. These satellites are truly state of the art as we have really pushed, but not exceeded, the limits of technology. With this new facility we will be able to iterate, update and continuously improve the satellite’s design and performance, and being right at the Space Center using Virgin Galactic we will be able to launch new satellites within hours of completion.”


Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb Satellites, said, “Florida is an excellent location for our high volume satellite manufacturing facility. The State of Florida and Space Florida really understood our business needs and gave us an outstanding offer to locate in Exploration Park. Our high volume satellite production uses many of the same technologies as aircraft production and Florida has become a center of excellence for both aviation and space related technologies. We will leverage much of the local aerospace capability expanding opportunity in the Space Coast region, and we also anticipate many of our suppliers to co-locate operations near our facility. The facility will be a big part of our ability to dramatically lower satellite costs for OneWeb and other customers as we grow our business.”


OneWeb has teamed with a number of partners and suppliers to achieve their vision for connectivity. Airbus Defence and Space will begin by building test satellites at its facility in Toulouse, France; Ariannespace and Virgin Galactic will provide launch services support; Hughes Network Systems will build ground monitoring and management hardware; and Intelsat will manage the satellite fleet for the company.


The project was made possible through partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Department of Economic Opportunity, Space Florida, Brevard County, The Economic Development Commission, and the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.


Bill Johnson, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said, “OneWeb’s decision to locate their manufacturing facility on the Space Coast is great news for Florida families. Their move will result in the creation of 250 new, high-tech jobs and the investment of $85 million into the local community. Florida is becoming the top destination for great IT companies like OneWeb, and I look forward to seeing their continued success.”


Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Today’s announcement is another great win for Florida’s Space Coast. OneWeb’s new facility will provide 250 high-wage jobs to Brevard County families. The aerospace industry is flourishing again in our state thanks to private-sector investment and innovation and Gov. Scott’s focus on increasing manufacturing in Florida by cutting taxes and streamlining regulation.”


Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, said, “The announcement of OneWeb’s presence here at Exploration Park is one that perfectly aligns with Space Florida’s vision of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and Florida as the world’s leading space commerce center. Our ever-expanding commercial space industry at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport will now be home to the most advanced satellite manufacturing capability in the world, and Space Florida looks forward to OneWeb Satellite’s success.”


Brevard County Board of County Commission Chair Jim Barfield, said, “In just a few short years, Brevard County has been able to achieve what many others have not; total diversification after a major economic shift. While no one in our community had a say in the Shuttle program shutdown, this community created its own future by bringing manufacturing, aerospace, and aviation innovators like OneWeb and others here. We are positioned well as we work together to keep the momentum going.”


Brevard County Commissioner, District 1 Robin Fisher, said, “By putting NBEDZ funds to work for our community, we are growing high wage employment. This project is a perfect fit within our ever expanding cluster of technology and aerospace companies in North Brevard.”


OneWeb has teamed with a number of partners and suppliers to achieve their vision for connectivity. Airbus Defence and Space will begin by building test satellites at its facility in Toulouse, France; Ariannespace and Virgin Galactic will provide launch services support; Hughes Network Systems will build ground monitoring and management hardware; and Intelsat will manage the satellite fleet for the company.


Lynda Weatherman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast said, “Once again Brevard County is chosen to manufacture an innovative product unique to the aerospace industry, demonstrating our position as a leader in capturing the next generation of space related activities.”


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About OneWeb

OneWeb’s mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone and is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world. With more than 10 terabits per second of new capacity, it will transparently extend the networks of mobile operators and ISP’s to serve new coverage areas, bringing voice and data access to consumers, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions and other end users. Visit OneWeb.world.

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida. EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. EFI recently launched “Florida – The Future is Here” to promote the state as the nation’s premier business destination.

About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.

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