Explore Markets

The Explore Markets programme is the way in which the Satellite Applications Catapult assesses potential markets and engages with them on behalf of the Space community.

Guided by a list of priority markets within the UK’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS), we identify the most important ones for us to focus on through:

  • Assessment
  • Engagement

The other two key elements of the Explore Markets programme are:

Assessment and Engagement

We assess each priority market in line with the original IGS report through consultation with domain experts and suppliers, attendance at relevant conferences and subscription to relevant literature. We meet representatives of the sector and produce a market assessment report (similar to a business case).

Where we consider that a priority market has strong potential, we take part in activities such as conference attendance with presentations/stands and focused workshops, targeted marketing campaigns and, where necessary, targeted collateral. We may also collaborate in projects to demonstrate feasibility.

Identifying Markets

Having determined that a market presents substantial opportunities, we take it forward as a ‘Market Focus Programme’. Currently, we are working on Transport and Maritime, but we are still assessing others including: Future Cities; Food Supply; Energy; and Security.

The IGS Report provides a good starting point for identifying markets. However, the Explore Markets programme has been designed to allow a degree of serendipity arising from unexpected encounters, and we constantly follow major sector trends and external programmes from organisations including European Commission (EC), European Space Agency (ESA), Innovate UK and the other Catapults.

Criteria for Assessment

For each sector, we look at the opportunity, current blocking issues and what intervention is required to move forward (see Opportunities, Blockers and Enablers).

Identified opportunities should include:

  • Substantial potential economic impact by 2030 (£1 billion or more)
  • UK in strong position to benefit/take the lead
  • Business case of interest to investors

Blocking issues may include:

  • Preconceptions, lack of awareness
  • Access to data
  • Cost of access
  • Need for more frequent monitoring through Earth observation
  • Regulation

Enablers may include:

  • Our neutrality – we can bring together stakeholder communities
  • Data platforms for access to Earth observation data
  • Specialist advice/brokerage and other facilities

Catapult Interventions

We will:

  • Work with end-users to identify needs and demonstrate commercial potential by organising workshops and demonstrators, and showcasing the capabilities of satellite industry suppliers in targeted sectors.
  • Identify opportunities for organisations to become involved in the ‘explore’ activities and provide potential solutions to downstream sector organisations through the Opportunities area of our website.
  • Develop business cases and encourage investment and SME involvement in the market opportunities.
  • Explore the IGS Priority Markets and look for overlaps between these and our Transport and Maritime programmes to develop capabilities.
  • Work with the other Catapults to explore the commercial potential of satellite data and services, especially (but not exclusively) with Future Cities, Transport Systems, Digital and Offshore Renewable Energy.
  • Align with and lead EU and ESA level R&D projects to develop and establish expertise.

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