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Airbus uses Newry firm's tech for space image analysis

By Lisa Smyth

Financial software firm First Derivatives has announced a contract with Airbus Defence and Space that will use the company's database system to analyse data taken from space.

Under the agreement, Airbus Defence and Space will contribute historic and future satellite imagery which will be processed and analysed by Kx technology - owned by Newry-based First Derivatives.

Kx technology can process huge amounts of data, making it invaluable to firms such as Airbus. It is also used by 19 of the world's top investment banks.

Technical, commercial, sales and marketing resources will be provided by both parties to assist in the commercialisation of the opportunities. And a large number of other potential applications for Kx technology have been identified, including urban planning, predicting climate change and even analysing the use of retail parks by counting the cars within a supermarket car park.

Kevin McGivern, vice principal of sales at Kx, said: "We are very excited about the opportunity between ourselves and another major blue chip company like Airbus. It is very positive for us to be working together."

Brian Conlon, First Derivatives chief executive, said: "Having worked closely with the team at Kx Systems for more than a decade, First Derivatives understands the power and value of kdb+. Together we look forward to exploiting its capabilities to its full potential as we further penetrate the financial services sector and to build upon the foothold that has been established in other vertical sectors.

"We intend to make significant investments in Kx to allow the founders and their team to scale the company while staying true to its heritage.

"Transformational is a term often overused in the technology industry, but in this case I can confidently use it to describe the impact this transaction will have."

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