£50 million for satellite solutions to help developing countries

UK Space Agency opens call to connect space industry and developing countries to help tackle economic, societal and environmental issues.

Brazil’s Amazon basin, part of the Forests 2020 project from IPP Call 1. Credit: ESA.11 April 2017 – The Agency’s International Partnerships Programme (IPP) is a five-year, £152 million programme, designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organisations. It is part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which aims to support cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

More than £70 million in funding has already been given to projects in partnership with the UK space industry, applying inventive satellite solutions to a range of areas such as deforestation, illegal fishing, marine pollution, disaster recovery, drought and flooding. The latest tranche of funding will focus on issues around health and education.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The UK space sector is thriving with innovative developments and technologies that can be used to solve some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.

“The International Partnerships Programme has already harnessed Britain’s world-leading expertise in analysing satellite data to make a real difference to a number of countries. The latest round of funding is exactly the sort of project our Industrial Strategy is looking to support – boosting the UK space sector and delivering benefits to millions around the world.”

Call 2 for funding opens today (11 April 2017) and will close on 5 September 2017. The assessment is due to take place in October 2017 and successful projects will begin by the end of the year.