Most of the activities that the Satellite Applications Catapult does are within distinct programmes of work. By focusing on areas where we believe significant economic impact is possible, and where there are common needs and solutions, we can make the most of our funding.
Clearly defined programmes enable people from across the Catapult to collaborate effectively and work towards a common vision. They also make it easier to bring together a community of stakeholders for each topic, including potential end-users, suppliers, researchers, funders and, quite often, our colleagues in the other Catapults. We set out a roadmap for the short, medium and long term for each programme, but make sure they are flexible enough to allow us to change course easily.
In September 2015 the UN agreed 17 Global Goals following two years of intensive public consultation. The UN sees these goals, targeted for completion by 2030 – the same year as the Space Innovation Growth Strategy (IGS) – as ‘a supremely ambitious and transformational vision’.
The Global Goad and the underlying 169 targets, create a common global reference, and it is clear satellites have a major role to play in both helping to achieve them, and monitoring the effectiveness of solutions.
These Goals are intrinsic to our programmes, and will be a primary focus during 2016. 2030 is now only 14 years away and these goals will remain high on the political agenda. The challenge is not predominantly one of technology. It is one of establishing new types of economically sustainable partnerships between business and government that enable the technology-led solutions to emerge. A challenge that we, as a Catapult, are uniquely placed to lead.
Our current programmes are:
Within each programme we will host workshops to engage potential users and suppliers. Attendees will have the chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges (technical, financial or regulatory), and identify solutions that enable them to create new economic activity and, potentially, a better world powered by satellites.
Looking at integrated transport systems, benefiting from satellite services to deliver greater efficiency, safety and a better customer experience. We are particularly interested in inter-vehicle communications and reliable positioning, which offer the potential of a future with autonomous vehicles enabled by satellite data contributing to intelligent transport systems.
The Blue Economy is the global sustainable exploitation of the marine environment by all types of human activity in the maritime domain. We are focusing on using satellite services to stimulate the Blue Economy through engagement, tech demonstration and policy influence.
The UN Global Goals highlight the need for sustainable development of cities, agricultural land and power generation. There is a need to monitor the impact of human activity on the environment in new, open ways. Our aim is to develop, integrate and promote environmental monitoring from space as a global means to improve mineral extraction, energy provision and the ‘built environment’. This programme also includes Agri-tech, helping to improve decision-making in agri-tech services by developing integrated satellite technologies to deliver cost reduction, increased yields and reduced pollution.
This programme looks to incorporate more space related technology into the wider economy and capturing the technology breakthroughs. Our early work within this programme has focussed on market assessment and spawning new programmes – currently concentrating on aspects of smart cities, food supply chains, health, security and energy – as well as an information campaign to promote awareness of satellite capabilities.
There are significant opportunities for satellite enabled solutions to improve public services. A number of our activities complement this aim: