From the Arctic to the Desert, theres no limit for Bournemouth-based Think Research

From the Arctic to the Desert, there’s no limit for Bournemouth-based Think Research

UKTI South West helps air traffic management consultancy Think Research develop its business overseas.

Think Research, a Bournemouth business, has enjoyed continued success with its overseas expansion plans that now range from the frozen Arctic to the warmer climes of the Middle East.

This expansion, which has occurred while maintaining their existing list of UK and European clients, is, in a large part, thanks to continued support from the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) South West and from European Regional Development funding.

Established in March 2004, Think Research is an Aviation Consultancy concentrating on the Air Traffic Management sector. Think Research has seen rapid growth over the last two to three years and now counts many of the world’s Air Traffic Service Providers as its customers. With markets in the Middle East and the Far East experiencing rapid growth in passenger demand, Think Research is well placed to support these air traffic systems and their operators to meet this increase in demand through system modernisation and expansion, while at the same time ensuring that stringent safety standards are maintained and improved.

Think Research works with a wide range of customers in both the private and government sectors, ranging from Air Traffic Service Providers and airport operators to regulators and industry. The company specialises in developing and validating new concepts and procedures, primarily through the use of complex Real-Time Simulations and Live-Trials; they also employ a wide range of modelling and operational analysis techniques specifically chosen to fit the customer’s specific needs as well as the development stage of the system under consideration. Think Research specialises in providing rapid data measurement and analytical techniques which are specifically designed to ultimately prove the concept, system, procedure, operation, or airspace design under consideration as being “fit-for-purpose” in the quickest, best and cheapest way possible.

In January 2012 Think Research commenced its first project in the Middle East supporting, through its simulation and validation support expertise, the airspace and procedural changes required as part of a major international airport development as a sub-contractor to a UK Prime. While this work is still on-going, Think Research is also providing Human Factors support to another Middle East service provider to fully understand the effect on key stakeholders of the rapid change that can occur in a developing ATM operation. The work at Think Research is now taking them to all corners of the globe; at the same time as some of the company’s consultants were in the warmth of the Middle East, other consultants were conducting live trials in -15 degrees on a small remote island in the Arctic Circle!

Think Research began working with UKTI South West in 2009 and quickly signed up to the Passport to Export programme. The programme 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. Since then the company has also taken part in UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth programme and received European Regional Development Funding.

Rob Waggitt, Director, said: “Think Research has experience significant growth in the last two to three years in our overseas work, which corresponds to the time when we started to exhibit at ATM trade fairs. This was made possible by the ability to use ERDF to assist in supporting the costs associated with attending such marketing functions. This continued support will now allow us to exhibit at two trade fairs in 2013 in Madrid and Amsterdam, ensuring all our target customers will have the opportunity to pass through our new and exciting exhibition stand.”

Rob added: “Securing funding for exhibiting at the trade show in 2011 was the catalyst for real growth. These types of activities are essential for a company such as ours that does not necessarily have the funds to travel to all our potential clients around the world. It’s no coincidence that growth has come from outside of our core markets during the period we have started to exhibit and really push our brand, the funding from ERDF and support from UKTI has been a key element of this.”

In the last few years business has tripled at Think Research and the organisation now employs 20 people. In fact, business has been so good that Think Research has outgrown its current base at Calvin Road in Bournemouth and is moving to larger offices in February 2013.

Nick Field, international trade adviser at UKTI South West, said: “Think Research is 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 have grown their profits and headcount thanks to the wider opportunities created by exporting outside of their core markets. I have no doubt that Think Research will continue to operate even further afield and look forward to working with them as they enter new overseas markets.”


If you are based in the South West region and are interested in developing your business overseas please contact:

UKTI South West International trade Team

Tel: +(0)845 60 60 969

Email: [email protected]

Find your nearest International Trade Advisor via our postcode search facility in “Contacts in your region”.

In partnership with:

Story links

Think Research

Passport to Export

Gateway to Global Growth

Sectors: Airports
Countries: Qatar and South West England
Topics: Getting Started
Export Action Plan