Enabling the public sector to save money, innovate and make more effective policy decisions by using space technology and data

2015-2016 SSGP Competition Winners Announced

​13 January 2016 – The UK Space Agency’s Space for Smarter Government Programme is pleased to announce that 12 companies have been selected to undertake 13 satellite application development projects, worth over £1m.

During the summer of 2015, SSGP embarked on two competitions, seeking innovative solutions and end-user applications which help the public sector deliver their policy requirements.

In June 2015, the SSGP team working alongside Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Competitions Team launched the first part of a two-phase competition to develop and assess the feasibility of new concepts, and develop innovative prototypes or novel end-user applications using satellite technology.

Two months later, SSGP also ran its first Phase 2 competition. This was limited to the applicants that had successfully completed Phase 1 of SSGP’s first call for projects which had concluded their feasibility studies in March 2015. The objective of the Phase 2 development contracts was to deliver operationally ready services which could then be adopted within and across the public sector and potentially wider for export. This demonstrator phase focuses on maturing the technology and prototype applications developed in Phase 1, but working closely with a public sector body or end-user/s to ensure the applications meet the needs of the UK public sector, whilst also demonstrating whether there is a viable business case to deliver a sustainable commercial service in the future.

The end goal is to address public sector challenges, enable more insightful and effective policy decisions to be made, and help deliver efficiency savings. By embedding space-enabled applications within the public sector, SSGP contributes towards the UK Space Agency’s aims of driving growth within the UK Space sector to meet the targets set out in the Civil Space Strategy and Innovation and Growth Strategy (UK secures 10% of the global £400Bn Space market by 2030).

Projects Selected

Phase 1

Ten feasibility projects have been selected from the 48 applications which were submitted under the advertised open competition.

The ten projects selected spanned the advertised public sector requirements, with each project receiving up to £80k contract funding to assess feasibility, develop their ideas and develop satellite applications. The projects were encouraged from the outset to engage their end-users in developing their proposals and remain focussed on the end goal – producing a working demonstrator or prototype which is operationally ready (if the project is subsequently chosen to progress to Phase 2).

The projects, detailed below, commenced in November 2015 and will run for five months.

Upon completion of the Phase 1 projects, SSGP will host an event to showcase the findings to key public sector stakeholders. It is anticipated that this event will take place in early summer 2016. Details will be released nearer the time.

Phase 2

The three Phase 2 projects selected will share funding of ~£0.3M to further develop their projects – with the focus being on the future route to market whilst ensuring UK public sector’s end-user(s) needs are met.

The projects, with three different SMEs, are looking across a diverse range of satellite applications. The projects commenced in November 2015 and will run for five months. A brief summary of each is included below.

  • Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd – Sea Level SpaceWatch
    The objective of Sea Level SpaceWatch is to enhance a prototype UK coastal sea level information service so that it is ready for operational implementation by the Government agencies responsible for planning and managing our coastal defences. This web-based service has been designed in collaboration with a user group including the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Climate Change Committee, and is based on the application of an innovative processing technique to satellite altimeter data, developed at the National Oceanography Centre.
  • University of Leicester – Air Quality Hotspot Mapper (AQHSM)
    The AQHSM project is working with Local Authorities in Leicester, Rotherham (Sheffield City Region) and Northampton, integrating state-of-the-art regional air quality satellite feeds with traffic flow data and local data to provide bespoke air quality outputs for decision making purposes. Local Authorities will be provided with a city-wide perspective of air quality, and the sources and impacts of pollution through a tool that enables better decision and policy making in areas such as Environmental Protection, Traffic Management, Health and Planning.
  • DEOS Consultancy Ltd – New Concept Always Connected Medical Screening Vehicles
    This project, working with a local NHS Breast Screening Service, will address several issues associated with the access to, effectiveness and efficiency of remote health screening services. It will deliver both an operationally-ready fully managed connectivity and data management service for the end-user and a prototype demonstrator vehicle that can be used to fully demonstrate the benefits of assured satellite communications to aid quicker diagnosis and improved access to screening services.

Upon completion of the Phase 2 projects, SSGP will host an event to showcase the findings to key public sector stakeholders. It is anticipated that this event will take place in early summer 2016, and representatives from across the UK public sector will be encouraged to attend. Details will be released nearer the time.

Other SSGP Competitions

Subject to ongoing BIS/UK Space Agency spending review discussions, plans are currently being implemented for future SSGP competitions for 2016/17 and beyond.

If you are interested in learning more about SSGP, please email the team at ssgp@sa.catapult.org.uk

The Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP)

The Space for Smarter Government Programme was established in 2014 within the UK Space Agency and aims to inspire and enable the public sector to meet their policy objectives, through the uptake of satellite data and use of space enabled services to help deliver more efficient and effective operations. The programme is led by the UK Space Agency but is delivered in close collaboration with the Satellite Applications Catapult.

The programme aims to make best use of existing UK investment in the Space sector and encourages Other Government Departments and public sector bodies to lead the way in using space data and satellite-derived services, which in turn drive UK growth and encourage exports.

SSGP has an ambitious vision to embed satellite applications and services into business as usual activities across the public sector. The success of this technology-enabled change programme is as much about raising awareness of what space can do and demonstrating the case for change as it is about developing the technology and services needed to meet public sector needs.