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- June 12th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorised

Participants at the Satellite Applications Catapult #AppsInSpace Hackathon12 June 2013 – The Satellite Applications Catapult #AppsInSpace Hackathon which took place over the weekend of 8/9 June 2013, proved to be great success.

The Satellite Applications Catapult, one of a network of UK technology and innovation centres established by the Technology Strategy Board, held the event as part of a series of activities that offer a platform to enable people to collaborate and innovate with space technologies to solve challenges and potentially develop new business opportunities. The event was held at the Satellite Applications Catapult facilities in Harwell Oxford.

The winning solution, from the team named BeamHive, was developed by a team of six strangers who joined together to focus on two challenges provided by Inmarsat. These addressed the precise position of satellites and their optimum coverage. The solution developed could be used to provide information to calculate which communications satellite spot beam to focus more power/bandwidth on – due to customer demand or a crisis – and to optimise the power usage of the satellite.

Other solutions developed focused on how to use satellite data for road maintenance (road quality monitoring), use a smartphone’s sensor to optimise the GPS battery usage (SmartGPS); a real estate search engine empowered with environmental information (REED); and remote monitoring of toilets failures on trains (‘Stuff Happens in Trains’).

Antonia Jenkinson, Chief Financial and Operations Officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said “Innovators, coders, designers and engineers from across the UK and a group of software engineers from Germany, came together to find solutions to the challenges set for them. Over 35 delegates attended the event, and a large proportion stayed through the night to work on their project. It is fantastic to see new people innovating with satellite solutions and the results show the potential opportunities that can be developed.”

“Six challenges were worked on over the weekend and the panel of judges, representing the Catapult, Technology Strategy Board, Reading University, European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centre (BIC) and UK Space Agency, had a difficult job in selecting the winners. Each team will be given the opportunity to further develop their solution with support from either the Catapult, ESA BIC or Technology Strategy Board, if their solution offers a potential market opportunity.”

Antonia concluded, “The Catapult was delighted with the success of the event and looks forward to working with some of the delegates in the near future.”

The Catapult is planning to host a similar event later in 2013.

Further information

For further information, please contact Karen Rogers:
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 567999

About the Satellite Applications Catapult

The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of a network of seven UK technology and innovation centres which aim to drive economic growth through the commercialisation of research.  The vision of the Satellite Applications Catapult is to support UK industry through the acceleration of the growth of satellite applications and to contribute to capturing of a 10% share of the £400bn global space market predicted by 2030. It aims to achieve this by exploiting the innovation-potential in the UK industrial and academic communities, by being a focal point where small and medium enterprises, large industry and end users can work together with researchers to challenge barriers, explore and develop new ideas, and bring these to commercial reality.

About Catapults

Catapult centres are being established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board as a new addition to its range of programmes to stimulate innovation. They are places where the best of the UK’s innovative businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation.  Focusing on areas with great market potential, Catapults will open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future. In addition to the Satellite Applications Catapult, Catapults for high value manufacturing, cell therapies, offshore renewable energy, the connected digital economy, future cities and transport systems are being established. For more information, please visit

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information, please visit