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).
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.