A North East tech firm will create up to 19 jobs over the next three years after securing a £400,000 growth fund investment.

e2E Satcom’s NEAT access satellite communications technology is credit-card sized compared with the laptop-sized tech available on the market today.

Development has been sponsored under the European Space Agency ARTES Programme.

As part of moving the tech towards commercial launch, e2E Satcom Ltd has worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the investment.

Its sales hub in Gateshead is now looking to secure larger premises to ramp-up operations, maintenance and customer care activities.

It will also be looking to engage with the region’s universities to offer career opportunities for its best graduates.

Barry Ross, CEO at e2E, said: “NEATaccess technology has huge advantages over anything else currently available in the marketplace in terms of size, weight and power, and this, together with our leading edge development approach will ensure we maintain market leadership in this area.

 “The enthusiasm with which our work so far has been greeted by potential customers suggests there are major commercial opportunities out there for us to target.

“The North East has a growing reputation as a technology centre of excellence, as well as a skilled workforce and highly-regarded universities. It therefore provides the right type of environment in which to base our operations centre, which we plan to have up and running by 2019.

 “While providing the right type of financial option to help us commercialise NEATaccess, NEL Fund Managers also provides a team that is working with us under a true partnership arrangement. This is benefiting us as a business and we’re very pleased to be onboard.”

A member of the firm’s management team will shortly be heading to the US as part of the UK government’s Space Mission Three for entrepreneurial small businesses, and a range of opportunities with large enterprises and government bodies are also being progressed both nationally and overseas.

The NEATaccess communications technology is ideal for use on a range of delivery platforms including airborne drones, High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) and small satellites.

The plan is to launch this technology into the market before the end of 2017.

e2E has a five-year plan in place which will eventually see it launching its own small satellites before the end of the decade in order to serve niche areas and clients with more affordable satellite communications.

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “e2E Satcom’s technology is establishing a new benchmark in the satellite communications industry, and we’re excited about the terrific potential for growth that their business plan outlines.