22 April 2016 – A new UK Climate Data from Space computing zone has been announced to boost growth and innovation in the UK’s climate services industries.
The new funding commitment was announced by the UK Space Agency and National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) on Monday, April 11, and has been welcomed by the Climate Data from Space Stakeholder Group (CDSSG).
The CDS-zone will provide dedicated infrastructure and software support to the UK Climate Data from Space community, hosted on JASMIN-CEMS, for an initial period of two years.
The positive impact of the Climate Data from Space Stakeholders Group (CDSSG), the recognised UK expertise in Earth Observation data for climate science, and recent funding wins in the climate data sector from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) have fuelled the initiative.
Beth Greenaway, Head of Earth Observation at UKSA, said: “The Innovation and Growth Strategy report recognised the importance of a seamless supply chain of climate data from space in reaching out to new sectors and industries, and stimulating the development of new markets and services.
“This new funding represents a significant step in ensuring the underpinning infrastructure is in place, with a view to stimulating sustained growth in climate services built on such data.
“It is anticipated that commercial, societal and scientific benefits to the UK will result from projects hosted.”
The CDS-zone will provide data processing facilities, community tools and software to allow regular production of climate data from currently flying satellite instruments.
Professor John Remedios, Director of the NCEO, said: “The UK environmental sciences community have an international reputation for the quality of their climate data sets. Such data sets not only allow us to understand current changes in climate but provide real information on likely impacts. The benefits range from evidence for policy to market information which allows businesses to build environmental considerations into their operations.”
The CDSSG was set up in 2014 by the UK Space Agency as a collaborative forum to deliver the Government’s ambitious Innovation and Growth Strategy. A key target for the CDSSG is to draw together the academic, public sector, civil service and industry elements of the climate data community, and this effective collaboration has been central in demonstrating the UK’s capability in translating world-class science and research expertise into realworld applications and services.
Greenaway added: “This further UK investment in Earth Observation is due to the excellent work of the CDSSG, especially in 2015/16. It has put us in a really great place to make the tangible changes needed to create a seamless supply chain of climate data.”
Of the seven collaborative projects recently funded by the European Commission’s flagship programme, Copernicus, CDSSG provided support to the five that have UK participation. Four of these are UK-led, with a combined total value of €4.7m.
Geoff Busswell is Head of Business Development for European Space Institutions at Telespazio Vega UK, which is involved in two of the successful C3S projects, and is an active player in the CDSSG community. He highlighted the effectiveness of the group in supporting bid collaboration opportunities for European funding saying: “There’s always a useful conversation [at a CDSSG meeting] as there are stakeholders spanning key elements of the climate services supply chain. With the right people, we can do interesting projects with real impact – [with the C3S wins] we are now starting to see the results and the economic benefits.”
The activities of the CDSSG have been supported by the UK Space Agency and the National Centre for Earth Observation and the group is coordinated by the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) based at University of Reading.