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News from the South West ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador

By on

canal boatAugust 2021

Hello all!

So I hope everyone has had a nice summer!  I’ve luckily had a great one. Whilst there are still some challenges still around the pandemic things are starting to open up and I was able to get away for a week – canal boating on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire.  It was great!  Although it took me around 3 days to actually get the steering right – without going aground and crashing into the side of the canal!  Actually what would have been really useful would have been a satellite enabled navigation and steering application….. perhaps a future ESA Business Applications application there!! 😀

So my next “adventurous” challenge is a SwimRun event in September in Cornwall.  This is an event where you both swim and run in an individual race where you are in and out of the water.  What it actually means though is that you swim in your running shoes and run in your wet suit. Should be interesting! I’ll let you know how I get on.

I’ve also entered, for some strange reason, the Eden Project Marathon in October – which means I have to start training again for those long distances.  Although I have now run an ultra-marathon, I have never run the marathon distance on its own.  It’s quite a different challenge as you don’t tend to stop much or walk the hills – unless you really have to!  Should be interesting to see how I get on… The Eden Project Marathon is also rather “lumpy” which should be fun!

Right – onto the Space related news in the South West!

Cornwall Space and Aerospace Technology Training (CSATT)

Cornwall Space and Aerospace TechnologyTraining Centre

So firstly, Truro & Penwith College has partnered up with Spaceport Cornwall, Aerospace Cornwall, Goonhilly, Exeter University and several others to create a training centre in the South West dedicated to space

This is great news.  Through EU ESF funding, the training centre is developing a suite of courses from apprenticeship level to specialist business focused training. I was fortunate to attend the launch event in July and am really looking forward to what the centre will offer – especially to potential businesses looking to engage with space based services and applications.

Space Comm Expo


Also back in July, the Space Comm Expo exhibition was held in Farnborough.  It was actually the first time I’d been out of the South West for work for a long time.  It was really great to see many familiar faces in 3 dimensions rather than 2!  There was some really strong representation from the South West and Wales at the event – which was great to see.  There is no doubt that there is a momentum building across the region in the space sector. The UK ESA Business Applications Ambassador Network managed to meet up for the first time since March 2020. Some of the team have since moved on, so it was really good to meet up and share stories of ESA Business Applications funding applications… UK ESA Business Applications Ambassador Network gathering

Ha! Not really –

we just chatted and ate fantastic Nepalese food!

Upcoming events


The UK Space Conference is being held between 27-29th September. This year it’s being held as a virtual event. It will bring together the UK and international space community and there will be key stakeholder engagement across government, industry and academia.

14th October we have the South West Innovation Expo being held at Sandy Park in Exeter. This is a world-class exhibition showcasing breakthrough technology and innovation from across the South West of the UK. I will definitely be going (pandemic pending of course!) as there will be many interesting technologies to see and companies to talk to that could potentially benefit from space-based assets in their innovated solutions.

ESA Business Applications news

OK – now let’s get on with the latest in terms of open and upcoming ESA Business Applications tenders.  See all the details here:

Remember… firstly there is always the open call for any innovative idea or application which is commercially focused and utilises space based assets. 50% funding is available from 60k Euro up to 1M Euro+. Contact me or use this link for more details on this:

Here is the latest on upcoming and open tenders:

Space for Resilient Utilities, 50% funded Demonstration Project, 1st October – 31st Jan 2022

Seeking innovative concepts in the utilities sector including water, sewage, or energy networks that can benefit from the use of space based communications systems.


Satellite communications are in a unique position to not only offer safe and secure communication links to increase the network resilience (either as a primary link or as redundant system) but also extend the digitalisation of networks to remote areas. Details here

Space for Aviation Safety Evolution, 50% funded Demonstration Project, 1st October – 31st Jan 2022

Digitalisation and remotisation of operations, digitalisation of communications, reduction in human operational intervention, development of remotely piloted and automated platforms (i.e. drones, UAVs, HAPS) and operations in new layers of airspace kept mostly unutilised up to now (Very Low-Level (VLL) sky (below 150 metres) and upper sky, i.e. above 20km altitude) are some of the expected major evolutions of the aviation sector. The objectives of this tender are to foster and showcase innovative applications enabled by space based assets – such as satellite communications in support of aviation safety evolution. More details

Space for Tourism, 50% funded feasibility or Demo project, 15th Oct 2021 – 18th March 2022

Key focus areas relevant to this tender are potential space technologies that enable acceleration of good practices towards sustainable development in the tourism sector including use of digital and connectivity solutions to help embrace tourism post COVID, seamless travel applications & services, and safe travel applications & services. Click here for more info

Currently Open

Smart and Uncrewed Shipping, 50% funded, 15th March – 15th Sep 2021

Seeking innovative user-driven solutions relying on advanced technologies such as 5G and satellite PNT

Boats, tankers and ships in the sea

(Positioning, Navigation and Timing) supporting smart and uncrewed shipping. Use cases include secure autonomous vessels operations and/or remote piloting, digitalization at sea and ports, predictive maintenance and support to remote operations at sea, reduction of emissions and environmental impact, maritime safety and more. Full details

NHS Future Hospitals Initiative, 50% funding, 1st April 2021 – 30th Sept 2022

This newly opened tender is ongoing to September 2022 and is focused on considering innovative space-enabled solutions that contributes towards shaping the NHS Future Hospital project initiative, recently kicked off by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. More details


Such activities may include products and services addressing:

  • Logistical aspects (e.g. track and trace of goods, smart transportation)
  • Improved patients reach (e.g. tele-rehabilitation, tele-homecare)
  • Space-derived diagnostic tools (e.g. imaging and monitoring solutions)
  • Diagnostic collaboration networks (e.g. Artificial Intelligence assisted diagnostic service, transportable point of care solutions)
  • Services for improving environmental impacts (e.g. renewable energy, water treatment, air quality)

Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) Applications, 50% funding, open call to 2025

Feasibility study or Demonstration project focusing on utilising space based services for safety and security applications. Areas of applications include (but not limited to) Transport (maritime, aviation, rail, road – manned & unmanned), Essential Services and Critical infrastructures (utilities, finance, health system, logistics), Public Safety (emergency services, fire brigade, law enforcement, civil protection) Find out more

Space4Rail, 50% funding, open call to 2024

Feasibility or Demonstration project focusing on how Satellite applications or services can support the rail industry. The Open Call aims to support the exploitation of space-based assets (satellite navigation, satellite communications and/or Earth observation) in innovative and sustainable applications/services:

  1. Related to future control, command and signalling applications of the European Rail system
  2. Improving the performance and attractiveness of the railway, both for railway undertakings and end users

Details here


OK, so that’s all from me this month.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any interest in any of the above, or if you have anything interesting to share!

Have fun!

Andy W.


The European Space Agency (ESA) Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador Platform – South West England and South Wales (RAP-SW) is hosted by the University of Exeter in collaboration with:

  • ESA Space Solutions
  • UK Space Agency
  • Satellite Applications Catapult South West Centre of Excellence

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