The Satellite Applications Catapult, an independent technology and innovation company, will play a key role delivering the Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP) announced by Science Minister, David Willetts on 30 April 2014.
The UK Space Agency-led initiative will enable the public sector to use space for smarter, more efficient operations, thus saving money by taking advantage of existing investments like the recently launched Copernicus programme and the new European Global Navigation and Positioning System, Galileo. Furthermore, such activities will drive growth through practical demonstration of space-based products and services with the potential to be exported.
The SSGP team embedded within the Catapult will foster relationships with Government Departments and Agencies, and link them up with the Catapult’s established network of industry and academic experts, whilst retaining the neutral role of ‘critical friend’. This will require raising awareness of the opportunities for the public sector to use space products and services, building a detailed understanding of policy and operational requirements of departments, their agencies and local authorities, and leveraging funding for activities which will take ideas from concept into operational service.
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult explained: “The SSGP team will create a strategic overview of UK investments in applications for the government sector, creating a channel for government-to-government dialogue to inspire them to use space solutions. They will also enable the UK community to better leverage existing support mechanisms, to ensure maximum benefit from established national and international funding routes, and create a national budget for application development for the non-commercial sector.”
Stuart continued: “By enabling UK government to become a better user of satellite services, the Space for Smarter Government Programme is an essential component of the UK Space Growth Action Plan, and we are looking forward to the Catapult playing a significant role its success.”
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency, added: “The range and diversity of space applications that can enable better policy making, save money and innovate across Government are as wide as your imagination. We are on the cusp of a revolution where space is increasingly becoming a core enabler for everyday services and providing smarter solutions for tackling the challenges of modern society. At the UK Space Agency we want to assist the UK government to be at the forefront of this revolution and lead the world in the use and uptake of Earth observation, satellite communications and satellite navigation tools.”