Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation through the Innovate UK Business Growth Grant

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Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation through the Innovate UK Business Growth Grant: A Case Study of Map Impact and Satellite Applications Catapult Collaboration

Map Impact a pioneering environmental data services company, is making significant steps in their Helping Nature Count campaign and providing evidence to comply with environmental legislation. In November 2023, they launched BiodiversityView, a novel screening and monitoring product that provides a rapid, consistent, and objective appraisal of biodiversity across all of England. This product, based on the principles of DEFRA’s Biodiversity Metric Calculator and utilising novel satellite earth observation technology, is significantly streamlining biodiversity assessment workflows. It is available immediately, off-the-shelf, with nationwide coverage and is designed for ease of access, with flexible licensing terms supporting a variety of end-use cases.

The Role of Satellite Applications Catapult

As part of the Innovate UK Business Growth, Satellite Applications Catapult (Catapult) provides facilities and expertise to innovative, ambitious businesses. Catapult is eligible to participate in this by providing Business Support sessions as well as access to all their technical facilities.

Despite having launched BiodiversityView in November 2023, Map Impact intends to continually develop and improve the product, with plans to launch new versions on a regular cycle. The novel approach being used includes a confidence score, which is being developed in close collaboration with ecologists. To add rigour to this innovative solution and support product sales and marketing, Map Impact sought an independent peer review of several technical workflow components that form the BiodiversityView product. This peer review also has the added value of supporting and enhancing the knowledge and skill set of the Map Impact technical team.

Catapult provided a technical review of Map Impact’s version 1 release, which provides a reporting service on Biodiversity net gain for land development planning. The Geospatial Intelligence team met with the Map Impact team over several sessions to understand the product and the methodology used to create the PDF report delivered to customers. They also discussed plans for scaling up production. After analysing the methods, Catapult provided a technical review in the form of a written report commenting on the suitability, strengths, and weaknesses of the input data and methodology used. In addition, the recommendations for adjustments and enhancements for Map Impact was provided in a summarised list with Red/Amber/Green categories assigned to aid with product backlog prioritisation. The project concluded with a follow-up call to ensure all report recommendations were clear.

Impact and Results of the Collaboration

Working closely with the Catapult’s technical team, several product enhancements have been identified and considered by the Map Impact technical team. This collaboration has provided targeted and focused suggestions for future development and is supporting Map Impact’s future prioritisation of new technical features and refinements to aid in their mission of Helping Nature Count. This not only supports efficient and focused product development but also ensures that their product remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the field of biodiversity assessment. The feedback and recommendations from the Catapult team have been invaluable in shaping their product roadmap and have directly contributed to the ongoing success of BiodiversityView. This collaboration has not only provided technical insights but also instilled confidence in marketing their product, knowing that it has been independently reviewed and validated by experts in the field. This has had a positive impact on their sales and marketing efforts, leading to increased customer trust and product adoption. In conclusion, the support from Catapult has been instrumental in the continuous improvement and success of BiodiversityView, helping Map Impact make a significant contribution to environmental conservation efforts across England.

“Working with Satellite Applications Catapult to peer review our BiodiversityView product has provided a valuable third-party perspective on our innovative approach to biodiversity assessment. The Catapult’s Team approach was proactive and pragmatic meaning a high-quality output could be delivered in a short time frame”.

Richard Flemming, CEO of Map Impact.

BiodiversityView for Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy Region. An indicator of habitat and biodiversity is available every 5o metres covering all of England, allowing detailed and consistent regional monitoring.

BiodiversityView provides an indication of biodiversity habitat and condition every 50 metres.