UK Space Agency unlocks doors to new business opportunities

Unlocking Space for Business seeks to help companies take advantage of satellite data and services

A Lockheed Martin satellite. The UK Space Agency is looking to attract more companies to use satellite data and services. PA
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The UK Space Agency has launched a new drive for businesses looking to glean some advantages from the £370 billion space and satellite industry.

Unlocking Space for Business is an 18-month programme designed to bring the benefits of satellite data and services to hundreds of new organisations in the UK, focused on the transport and logistics, and financial services sectors.

"As the cost of accessing space continues to fall and the pace of innovation increases, a greater number of businesses now have the opportunity to harness the advantages offered by satellites through enhanced imagery, connectivity and navigation capabilities," the UK Space Agency said.

Down-to-Earth benefits

The initiative will feature workshops and networking events, as well as learning and development sessions, so UK companies can better understand how to utilise satellite data and services.

For example, logistics companies could find out more about tracking shipments by satellite, and insurance companies could discover how satellite imagery could help verify customer claims in the aftermath of extreme weather events.

The idea, said Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, is to bring companies into the sector that previously might not have considered using satellite services.

"This will help catalyse further investment into our growing space sector and deliver greater benefits for businesses, people and the environment," he said.

In addition, the Unlocking Space for Business programme will provide the opportunity for companies to apply for a share of up to £6 million ($7.3 million) of government funding to help launch innovative pilot projects within the satellite service sector.

"With UK space open for business like never before, sectors as diverse as transport and finance have a huge opportunity to bring the benefits of satellite data down to Earth and improve their operations, deliver for customers and ultimately grow their industries," said George Freeman, Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology.

"Unlocking Space for Business will build on the multibillion-pound contribution of space to the UK economy, helping to create jobs and economic growth while driving forward our ambitions to make the UK a science and technology superpower."

Updated: October 18, 2023, 11:54 AM