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Tales from the South West ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador

By on

December 2021

Well – at long last I have managed to pull together a “Tales from the South West ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador” blog.  It’s a new title and rather catchy…. I like it! 😊

A trip to Harwell

So I thought I’d start off with the news that the four UK ambassadors met up again recently in Oxford/Harwell. We all travelled from our respective homes (Alan in Liverpool, Paul in Nottingham, Ken in Glasgow and myself in Truro) to see old friends, meet the UKSA team face to face and actually visit the ESA site at Harwell (first time for Ken)!  It was really great to meet up, we certainly still made the most of the trip!

ESA Darwin BusI even got a trip on the new ESA Darwin Bus – funded through the ESA Business Applications Programme no less!

ESA Business ambassadors and various flags in the background


Those of you with eagle eyes may even notice I wore a Christmas jumper for the occasion!


First Exhibition… in a long time!

Back in October I attended the South West Innovation Expo at Sandy Park in Exeter. It was the first exhibition since the COVID pandemic hit so I was rather excited.   I sent a LinkedIn Post about it at the time and it went viral! (well 165 likes is viral for me!)

It was a really great event showing some incredible innovation in the South West of the UK … and nice to actually meet people face to face! … and plenty of opportunity to combine strong technical innovation with space based assets such as Earth Observation data, satellite communications or satellite navigation!


Another Ultra run

So those of you who remember my earlier blogs from 2021 may remember I was mad enough to run an ultra-marathon back in May called the Classic Quarter which was 44 miles (~70 km) of fun trail running on the Cornwall South West Coast Path…. Andy Williams selfie on Cornish coastlinelWell, for some reason, l I’ve decided to do another one. This is the ARC50 which is a 50 mile (80 km) run on the western coast of Cornwall. So its only another 6 miles I tell myself… but it is at the end of January – in the middle of winter … and is going to be a whole different ball game.  I’ve started training again, but I must say it seems a lot more difficult this time around!

Anyway – that’s enough about my tales!  Let me tell you about upcoming events and the very latest from ESA Business Applications opportunities!

Space agency logoUpcoming events

The UK Space Agency Space to Connect 2022 event is happening on 1st February in London.  I’ll be going along with the other UK ESA Business Applications Ambassadors to promote ESA funding to innovate businesses.

It should be great event – and hopefully (with all fingers crossed!) it will go ahead as a live event rather than virtual.

The Future of Healthcare Innovation event, which was originally planned for November has been moved into 2022. This is being organised by EXIST (Exeter Initiative for Science and Technology) and once the new date is confirmed I’ll make sure to tweet and post on LinkedIn about it.


Goonhilly event on AI, Machine Learning and Space Applications

There will also be an event at Goonhilly in the new year focusing on Digital innovation (such as AI and Machine Learning) and its applications with space-based services.  Again, as soon as a date is confirmed I will let you know through the power of social media!

I am also planning a number of workshops after the new year focusing on ESA Business Applications funding opportunities for specific sectors – such as digital innovation, marine, and environmental sustainable development.  I’ll be hopefully looking to host these events in locations across the South West and Wales… so watch this space!

OK onto current ESA Business Applications opportunities!

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:

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:

Digital Platforms, Kickstarter 75% funding, Max 60k€, 10th Dec 2021 – 21 Feb 2022

This Kickstarter activity (providing 75% funding to a maximum of 60k€ funding) explores how space technology can link with or enable online digital platforms, by introducing new features and innovative services to consumers and businesses. It also considers the benefits that digital platforms could offer to the space ecosystem, by offering space products and services in novel way. Such digital platforms are understood as online e-commerce websites connecting buyers and sellers, facilitating transactions of products, service, and exchange of social contents, such as Amazon, Uber, or Facebook.

Here are a few examples where space data can be instrumental in the delivery of the applications/services:

  • Services offered by consumer location-based platform for ride-sharing, routing/navigation and home delivery.
  • Consumer services requiring high precision geo-location information such as personal security applications.
  • Services based on meteorological information and/or pollution levels derived from SatEO data and merged with other in-situ or crowd-sourced data, which may support navigation aids that take into account air quality.

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 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)

Image credit: urbans

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.

Image credit: Denis Belitsky


If any of these opportunities are of interest, or indeed the open call, then please do get in touch! Email:

OK, so that’s all from me this time.  Have a great Christmas and here is to a fruitful 2022 with hopefully a lot less COVID and a lot more face to face interactions!

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

All views are personal.

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