First Derivatives joins forces with Airbus unit to exploit satellite images

Newry-based financial software consultancy has been widening focus in recent years

Airbus will contribute  satellite imagery, which First Derivatives’ high performance database technology   will process and manage. Photograph: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

Airbus will contribute satellite imagery, which First Derivatives’ high performance database technology will process and manage. Photograph: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

 

Financial software consultancy First Derivatives has signed a deal with Airbus’ defence and space unit in France which will use the Newry-based firm’s database system to exploit opportunities in the energy, engineering and natural resources sectors.

Under the agreement, Airbus will contribute historic and future satellite imagery, which First Derivatives’ high performance database technology – Kx – will process, interpret and manage. In turn, the two companies expect to work with both large, corporate research bodies and start-ups to exploit this “ground breaking technology in markets such as energy, rail/civil engineering, natural resources, maritime surveillance, agriculture, finance and facilities management,” according to a joint statement.

The commercial satellite imaging market is expected to grow from $2.5 billion ($2.35 billion) in 2014 to $6.5 billion in 2013, according to US-based Transparency Market Research.

First Derivatives’ Kx technology is used by 19 out of the world’s top investment banks. It chief executive Brian Conlon has been seeking in recent years to extend the firm – which was incorporated 21 years ago – beyond its traditional niche into the digital marketing, retail analytics and utilities sectors.

“There are many valuable applications of satellite imagery across a range of industries, many of which are time sensitive and require powerful analytic processing,” said Anthony Denniss, head of solutions and imagery portfolio at Airbus Defence and Space. “By combining our data and Kx technology we expect to be able to provide new and existing customers with unique and valuable insights.”