Xerra Earth Observation Institute has a new leader at the helm.

The Alexandra›based research institute announced Trent Fulcher as the company’s new chief executive earlier this month, replacing Xerra’s first CEO Steve Cotter who stepped down earlier this year.

Established in 2017, with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Xerra uses earth observation data captured via satellite to track maritime activities through its Starboard Maritime Intelligence platform.

Starboard tracks maritime activities including drug smuggling, illegal fishing and uncovering non›reporting dark vessels.

Mr Fulcher comes to the company with a raft of experience, both as a chief executive and as a successful entrepreneur.

He previously worked with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) where he supported New Zealand export businesses navigating the complexities brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xerra was at an ‘‘exciting stage of growth’’ due to the innovation and intellect that existed throughout the organisation, Mr Fulcher said.

‘‘The team’s passion for the cause that Xerra was founded on, is something I am looking forward to.

‘‘Starboard has been particularly successful in supporting fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) and there is opportunity for expansion in this market and other areas of maritime domain awareness.’’

He was excited at Xerra’s potential, both with its current focus on maritime domain awareness and where the technology could lead in the future, he said.

Mr Fulcher will primarily be Wellington›based with his focus on scaling the Starboard Maritime Intelligence platform globally.

Starboard was launched commercially in 2021 with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries as its founding customer.

On board . .. Xerra Earth Observation Institute new chief executive Trent Fulcher.