The Skys No Limit for Think Research

A Bournemouth (UK) business has embraced a strategic change to the way it delivers its air traffic control consultancy and enjoyed increased business overseas as a result, with support from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) South West.
Established in March 2004 by Conor Mullan and Rob Waggitt, Think Research is an air traffic management consultancy which counts many of the worlds air traffic service providers as its customers. With an ongoing requirement for service providers to ensure their air traffic management systems are able to cope with increased demand and are more environmentally friendly, Think Research works with its customers to help develop their systems: identifying potential issues, validating planned systems in simulation, measuring and analyzing results and ultimately proving the concept.

Think Research has always been an internationally focused business, with its first customers based in France, Italy and Sweden respectively. Having developed a strong reputation in Europe over the years, the team was keen to investigate and ultimately break into new overseas markets.

After a recommendation from their local Business Link, Think Research began working with UKTI South West in 2009. International Trade Adviser Nick Field signed the company up to UKTIs Passport to Export programme which provides new and inexperienced exporters with free capability assessments, support in visiting potential markets, mentoring from a local export professional, free action plans, customised and subsidised training, and ongoing support.

Rob Waggitt, Director, said: UKTIs Passport programme helped us move outside of our core comfort zone, and into markets we previously believed would be too complex to gain entry. The support of the UKTI, and in particular our Trade Adviser Nick Field, has meant markets such as the Middle East, Turkey and India are now seen as key aspects in our growth and development, without forgetting the potential that still remains closer to home.
Think PR28.07.11RecallAnim-13As part of the service Think Research provides its customers, the team had developed a piece of in-house software, called RECALL, to increase the accuracy and speed of its analysis and simulation services. This software allows users to quickly and accurately analyze and visualize a range of operationally relevant data graphically, statistically and in three and four dimensional replays. Analysis that used to take days or weeks of processing in several different software packages is now available in minutes from a single package.

In March 2010 the team began working on commercialising this proprietary software and a year later launched RECALL to market at the ATC Global Exhibition and Conference - the leading international air traffic management event held in Amsterdam.

Rob continued: The ATC Global exhibition was the catalyst for real growth. Since the official launch of RECALL, the product is now being trialled by air traffic service providers, airports and research institutes in Europe, Turkey and the Middle East with many others interested in looking at the software. Based on the current interest and the growing demand for both our consultancy and products we anticipate that our business could double or even triple over the next eighteen months. We currently employ eight people locally but in response to this demand, we are now in the process of creating three new jobs.

UKTIs support was integral to the success we enjoyed at the exhibition and I honestly believe we would not have been there without Nick and the teams help and support.

Nick Field, UKTI South West said: Think Research are a prime example of a local business that has enjoyed considerable success exporting their expertise to overseas markets. Despite the global economic downturn they have not only endured but are set to grow their profits and headcount thanks to the wider opportunities created by exporting and through the commercialisation of their in-house software package. I have little doubt that Think Research will continue to fly and look forward to working with them as they enter new overseas markets.
Think PR28.07.11 groupImage taken at ATC Global Exhibition and Conference, Amsterdam of the signing ceremony for Think Researchs first RECALL customer: EUROCONTROL Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC): (from left to right)

Herman Baret (MUAC)
Rob Waggitt (Director, Think Research)
Kris Vermeiren (MUAC)
Rob Whitaker (Business Development, Think Research)
Karl-Heinz Kloos (MUAC)
Peter Hendrickx (MUAC)
Conor Mullan (Director, Think Research)

Daniel Gray
Think Research


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