UK Space Agency opens up satellite data to boost businesses

Government body unveils new multimillion-pound programme, which includes training and network and opportunities for UK firms to use space data to help support growth, improve operations or create new services

The UK Space Agency is opening up satellite data and services with the aim of helping businesses grow, improve customer offerings, and boost efficiency.

The Unlocking Space for Business programme will encourage organisations to use satellite data and services to improve services and solve business challenges. The scheme will focus on companies in the finance, transport, and logistics sectors.

By enabling access to information, the programme hopes to improve customer experiences, boost operational efficiency, and provide new revenue opportunities for organisations.

Initiatives featured as part of the scheme – which is expected to run until 2025 – include an information hub, networking events, workshops and online and in-person training sessions for participants.

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Other features include an opportunity to receive a share, later this year, of up to £6m UK Space Agency funding to launch pilot projects, or fund data procurement or partnerships. Eligible projects should work towards benefiting UK businesses, citizens, or the space sector and be completed within an 18-month deadline.  

The programme will also provide business access across all satellite domains such as location, timing, connectivity, and imagery.

Information gathered could allow form verification on customer insurance claims after extreme weather events, or support location tracking and help people offshore stay in touch with those on shore, according to UKSA.

The initiative is part of the UK Space Agency’s Inspiration Programme,  a scheme raising awareness on how space-based assets can improve public services and help tackle challenges like climate change.

Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, added:  “Unlocking Space for Business will champion the use of space and help tackle barriers facing organisations that have not traditionally used satellite data or services. This will help catalyse further investment into our growing space sector and deliver greater benefits for businesses, people, and the environment.”

Government estimates indicate that satellite services currently support activity that contributes £370bn to the UK economy, amounting to almost 20% of GDP.

Sofia Villegas

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