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Argotec presented its new SpacePark: a €25 million investment in the Turin area

July 18th, 2023
The new headquarters of the Italian space company will be in a prestigious building designed by Oscar Niemeyer. A 1200 square metre area will be open to companies, incubators and start-ups.

The Italian aerospace engineering company Argotec announced two important novelties aimed at consolidating its leadership within the aerospace industry at an international level: a new headquarters, which will allow a quantum leap in terms of production, and the announcement of the new Board of Directors, which will take office next autumn, also thanks to the strategic advice of Francesco Profumo, President of Compagnia di San Paolo.

The announcement was made during a press conference held at Argotec's current headquarters, attended by, among others, Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region, Elena Grifoni Winters, Head of the Cabinet of the Director general of the European Space Agency, Giulia Guazzora, Mayor of San Mauro Torinese, Paolo Nespoli, Astronaut of ESA, and Silvia Natalucci, Head of the Micro- and Nano-Satellite Unit of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

Argotec is based in Turin, with an office in Maryland (USA). Its main business lines are the production of highly reliable small satellites and the design of comfort solutions for astronauts and future space tourists. A corporate partner of ESA BIC Turin, in 2022 Argotec was the only company in the world to have two operational smallsats in deep space, as part of the NASA missions Dart and Artemis 1. Argotec is currently working on several projects, including the HEO constellation for Earth Observation, as part of the IRIDE programme.

Renovating for the future: the SpacePark

The new "space factory" of the company will be located in the municipality of San Mauro Torinese, just outside Turin, through the redevelopment of a building of particular architectural prestige: the former Cartiere Burgo, one of only four works designed in Italy by Oscar Niemeyer, among the most important and respected architects of the 20th century. The beginning of the production line is scheduled for the first part of 2024, with the inauguration at the end of the same year. The investment is estimated at €25 million.

"The decision to renovate Niemeyer's work stems from the desire to avoid pouring new cement and to enhance a prestigious work on our territory that needed to be recovered," explained David Avino, CEO and Founder of Argotec, "even if this will require us to make a considerable economic and time effort to readapt the structure to our needs". Attention to the environment will also be expressed through innovative solutions for the building's sustainability, with the use of renewable sources and energy-saving technologies. Once the work is completed, the company will be able to produce 52 satellites per year (one per week) immediately, with the possibility of further increasing production in the future.

The company's new headquarters will be called Argotec SpacePark, a name chosen by its employees through an internal contest. The staff will also be involved in the design phase, being able to make proposals on certain features of the structure. The company is working to include about 17,000 square metres of green space open to the public, and 1,200 square metres of areas dedicated to companies, incubators and start-ups of the space industry.

No less important was the other news at the conference: the announcement of a new Board of Directors for the company, which will be completed in the autumn. The task of the new governance, as explained by Avino, will be to support the company's rapid growth, to enter new markets more forcefully, and to accelerate and foster the emergence of new R&D projects for space.

"Argotec has grown a lot over these years and will grow even more and faster in the future," said Francesco Profumo, President of Compagnia di San Paolo. "To steer and govern this development, a strong and qualified governance will be required. The people involved will be chosen on the basis of their expertise in the sector and their international experience, with a formal step in September. A number of key figures will be identified in the sector of institutional relations and the Space Economy business, with particular focus on the US and Defence markets."

Among the company's next steps - in addition to a recruitment plan with around 100 new hires - is an investment of €4.5 million for a new production plant in Maryland. In 2023, the company expects to double its turnover compared to 2022 (to €20 million), and then hit €50 million in 2024.

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