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Tales from the ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador

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Tales from the ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador.

Or…. Another potentially catchy title… “Fun with Funding!”??

Hi All,

Welcome to another “tales from the South West England & South Wales ESA Business Ambassador!” or perhaps another title I’m playing with… “Fun with Funding?”… mmm… work in progress…

This time we’ll be talking about running, spaceport launches, Artificial Intelligence and Net Zero! A whole mixed bag of fun!!!

Ultras and marathons…

So those you who read my last blog may remember me mentioning I was going to run a 50 mile (80km) ultra-marathon in January.  Well, stupidly enough, I did run it…and finished in 13 hours 31 minutes.  It was a whole heap of fun, but my body was rather broken afterwards.  To be honest – I am still recovering now!! 😀

I’ve started using it in presentations about satellite applications as I actually used several satellite applications whilst running the course, including a satellite navigation tracker and an Ordnance Survey App showing me the route. I’d still be running the course now if it wasn’t for that app!

So my next “adventure” is the London Marathon in October. I’m sooo pleased to be running it for the Asthma and Lung UK charity. My father sadly passed away due to lung disease so it is really wonderful to run the marathon for this cause. If you’re interested – you can sponsor me at:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-williams177

Cornwall, Wales and Space

Right – onto some space sector news and three of my favourite places all combined – Cornwall (where I live), Wales (where I am from) and Space (where my heart is!)!!!

Space Forge

Space Forge – a Welsh based in-space manufacturing company has announced it is launching its first satellite from Spaceport Cornwall on the Virgin Orbit horizontal launcher!!!  This is such good news!  Firstly – its aim is to initially demonstrate Space Forge’s business plan of providing in-orbit materials manufacture – which benefits both the space and material manufacturing sectors. Secondly – it is launching from UK soil and more specifically from Spaceport Cornwall … demonstrating the huge potential the spaceport is offering to the UK and the wider space sector market.

Goonhilly AI in Space event

Back in March, Goonhilly ran an excellent event bringing together experts in Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning with downstream space sector service providers to discuss applications utilising AI and ML that benefit from space-based assets such as Earth Observation data, satellite telecoms or satellite navigation.  It was actually live(!) rather than virtual and really nice to see 3D faces rather than folk on screens!  The clear benefits of digital innovation combined with space based assets brought out some interesting conversations and also future potential funding opportunities into the ESA Business Applications Programme.

Space and Net Zero

More recently, at the end of April, EXIST (Exeter Initiative for Science and Technology) hosted an event called “Transition to Net Zero” focusing on commercial activities related to the ever more important net zero agenda. There were some really interesting speakers discussing the challenges and some innovative solutions to help reach net zero – especially around a growing city such as Exeter.  I also spoke at the event and promoted the significant funding available for net zero applications utilising space-based assets. I also made sure to focus in on the upcoming tender on “Space enabling Decarbonisation” – see below…

To further raise awareness of potential funding for applications around sustainability and net zero, we’ll be hosting a joint event with the Satellite Applications catapult in June (date TBA). We’ll talk about the themed call around Decarbonisation and more about the wider funding opportunities through ESA Business Applications. Keep an eye out for that particular event!!  It will be wild!! 😊

Other events…

We are also looking to host a marine focused event later in June – down in Plymouth do keep an eye out for that! …and there will be further events no doubt further down the line so keep an eye on LinkedIn posts.

ESA Business Applications news

OK – now lets get on with the latest in terms of open and upcoming ESA Business Applications tenders.  See all the details here: https://business.esa.int/how-to-apply.

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+.

There is funding available right now – so please do get in touch!  Contact me or use this link for more details on this: https://business.esa.int/direct-negotiation

Here is the latest on upcoming and open tenders. Any interest – let me know. You can get in touch via LinkedIn (details below)!

Space Acting for Decarbonisation, 13th May -8th July 2022, 100% funded up to €200k

This is a great call focusing in on how Space can support the Net Zero Agenda.

The call is looking for enabling studies that will aid in understanding the opportunities for space upstream and downstream sectors in support of decarbonisation and guide the next steps on most relevant priorities and topics to be addressed. It will also support the dialogue and establishment of cooperation with customer champions in the key sectors, both public and private sectors, to effectively address complex global challenges and fast-track innovations towards sustainable and commercial solutions for a decarbonised and green economy.

Space in Response to Humanitarian Crises, 50% funding, 25th April – 31st Oct 2022

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at the end of 2020, 82.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order.

ESA is launching this funding opportunity to deliver operational services that support efforts in response to humanitarian crises. ESA will support Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects, which use space assets or space data like remote sensing, global navigation satellite systems, satellite communication or weather satellites.

Space and Digital Transformation for Green Energy Utilities, 50% funding, 15th April – 10th June 2022

The call for proposals targets the development of space-based services for supporting the digital transformation of the energy utilities sector and enabling the just transition to green energy across business sectors and society. This can help to support interoperability within the sector and the sector’s connectivity with other sectors, especially where critical infrastructure may be used or developed.

CASE: Commercial Applications Enabled by Space Environments, 50% funding, 16th Dec 2022 onwards…

CASE Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects are designed to assess, mature, and implement business concepts for new commercial services, products and applications that are enabled by existing space infrastructure related to human and robotic exploration. Eligible space infrastructure includes, for example, space-based facilities such as commercial services available aboard the International Space Station or, once available, future LEO and lunar infrastructure.

We offer funding and support to companies for business case assessment and spaceflight preparation as well as developing and piloting of new end-to-end services and products that benefit from space environments in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

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 innovated space-enabled solutions that contributes towards shaping the NHS Future Hospital project initiative, recently kicked off by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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 utilsing 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)

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.

If any of these opportunities are of interest, or indeed the open call, then please do get in touch via Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andywilliams-sp/

All the best – and don’t forget to sponsor me!! 😊

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

All views are personal.


Helen Young
Marketing and Communications Officer
Helen is an experienced marketer with a CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing.
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