UK Space Agency Makes Satellite Data Available To UK Companies To Transform Britain Into Space Economy

UK Space Agency Makes Satellite Data Available To UK Companies To Transform Britain Into Space Economy

The space sector in the UK is trying to talk into its potential and help all other industries prosper. For this, the UK Space Agency has launched a year-and-a-half-long programme to support UK companies in adopting satellite data and services for its benefit.

On Wednesday, October 18, the UK Space Agency announced the ‘Unlocking Space for Business’ programme which seeks to use satellite data and services for industrial benefit.

Around 17.7 per cent of the GDP of the UK economy comes from global satellite services-supported activities. Through the ‘Unlocking Space for Business’ programme, the UK government is trying to leverage this further as the cost of accessing space continues to reduce and the speed of space innovation increases.

According to the UK Space Agency, many UK companies would benefit from the services offered by satellites including better connectivity and navigation capabilities, and enhanced images.

As part of the ‘Unlocking Space for Business’ programme, the UK government will let companies across the country, especially in the financial services sectors, transport and logistics use satellite data for 18 months.

UK companies can use satellite images to improve their climate variables measurements and verify customer insurance claims through this programme. Satellite position and navigation could be used to improve location tracking, helping better movement of people. Shipping crews and passengers can use satellite connectivity to keep in touch with each other and their families.

The UK Space Agency will highlight all these advantages of using satellite data and services in workshops, networking events and learning and development sessions under the ‘Unlocking Space for Business’ programme in these 18 months.

Companies trying to harness space technology for their business development will also get online resources on how to better their understanding of satellite data and services. This is meant to help UK companies bid for £6 million UK Space Agency funding scheduled to be launched later this year. The funding is for pilot projects, data procurement or partnerships.

This comes at a time when the space agency allocated £65 million to harness space technology to improve lives in the UK.

UK Space Agency to turn Britain into a space economy through this programme

Speaking about the new programme, the UK Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology George Freeman said ‘Unlocking Space for Business’ will help create jobs and economic growth along with driving the ambitions of the UK space sector.

According to Freeman, this programme will transform Britain into a « science and technology superpower ».

« With UK space open for business like never before, sectors as diverse as transport and finance have a huge opportunity to bring the benefits of satellite data down to Earth and improve their operations, deliver for customers and ultimately grow their industries », said the Minister.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, Dr Paul Bate said that the

‘Unlocking Space for Business’ programme will break barriers faced by UK companies which haven’t got access to satellite data and services before.

According to Dr Bate, it will « champion the use of space » and catalyse investment into the UK space sector.

This is one of the ways the UK Space Agency is trying to deliver the goals set out in the National Space Strategy which seeks to transform Britain into one of the most attractive and innovative « space economies » in the world.

Satellite data and services have the potential to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences of businesses. It will also make ESG benefits available for organisations. Through the

Unlocking Space for Business programme insight providers, data suppliers, technology integrators and end users can be connected together to offer a seamless experience.

Faye Melly from PwC, the corporate handling the delivery of this project said: « Businesses today face significant challenges which demand innovative solutions. The to-do list can range from driving operational efficiencies and strengthening customer experience, through to taking action to drive towards Net Zero. In all of these areas, space can play a pivotal role. »

« Organisations can register their interest to get involved with the project and keep up to date with planned activities including Insight and Networking Events, Exploration Workshops and learning and development sessions ahead of the funding call opening later in the year, » continued Faye Melly.

PwC is partnering with Satellite Applications Catapult to make the Unlocking Space for Business programme successful.

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