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Global problems to be tackled by UK from space

Posted 24 April 2019 · Add Comment

A new UK space industry directory has been produced, showcasing the range of UK expertise in satellite technology and how it can help tackle problems such as illegal deforestation, disaster response and food production.



Above: Ecometrica forest monitoring system using satellite imagery.
Copyright Ecometrica


The new register of specialist products and services, from companies and universities and funded by UK aid, has been organised by the UK space industry and offers ways to use cutting edge space technologies to solve some of the world’s global challenges in agriculture, health and energy.

It provides international governments, donors, Non-Governmental Organisations and companies, with information on cost-effective ways to help development goals.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: 2We can be proud that many of the companies at the cutting edge of the latest space technologies are based right here in the UK, providing high skilled, well paid jobs right across the country.

"Today’s new directory showcases what the UK space industry has to offer, giving details of what is already being achieved as far afield as Asia, Africa and South America, and offering a single place to tap into this expertise and these services.

"The huge growth opportunity for the UK space sector is supported through our modern Industrial Strategy, promoting both here and abroad the best that British businesses can offer, helping deliver thousands of highly skilled jobs and boosting our economy."

There has been significant growth in the UK space sector in recent years which provides £14.8 billion in total income, 37% of which is generated by international trade. Satellite services, such as Earth observation and communications, support a wealth of other sectors worth an estimated £300 billion of UK GDP.

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: "The UK space sector generates billions of pounds for our economy and 42,000 jobs, and it also makes a real impact on the lives of people all over the world.

"For the first time this directory provides a global platform to showcase UK expertise in using space to support sustainable development. This ‘one-stop shop’ offers innovative and cost-effective solutions to some of the major problems faced by developing countries and emerging economies."

The services in the catalogue are drawn from the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme, the largest of its kind in the world, which is already working in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia and South America.

The £152 million programme uses UK expertise to benefit communities in developing and emerging economies, while building effective partnerships that can lead to growth and opportunities for the UK’s thriving space sector. It is an example of how UK development spending can tackle serious global challenges and advance common interests.

Potential users can search through categories that best describe their requirements and learn about the solutions the UK space sector offers.

Andrew Carrel, Chief Technology Officer at Rezatec, said: "Rezatec is delighted to be a part of the UKSA IPP programme, which is a great opportunity to demonstrate our geospatial data analytics services to a global audience through the COMPASS project. This deployment to improve crop yields and incomes for farmers in Mexico is a demonstration of our capability in agriculture. This complements our data services for the commodities, forestry, infrastructure and water sectors, which are used by businesses and government agencies around the world."

Andy Wells, EASOS Business Head at Satellite Applications Catapult Limited, said: "This is a huge step forward as it will build understanding of the potential of space to meet global issues and challenges. We create some superb capability in the UK and this catalogue will generate opportunity for both our academic and commercial space sector."

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) is a five-year, £152 million programme designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organisations. It is funded with UK aid through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) a £1.5 billion fund. All projects are match-funded by consortium members and international partners to ensure maximum value for money.


To read the International Partnership Programme: Space solutions for Development directory, click here

 

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