Space will be brought down to Earth in Glasgow next week at the DATA.SPACE2018 conference, which will explore how data collected by satellites can be used to address a range of commercial, scientific, and societal challenges.
Space-enabled data can be used, independently or combined with information from other sources, for a range of applications in sectors including energy, marine and maritime, sustainable cities, agriculture, life sciences and transport.
Delegates at the conference will hear, amongst other things how space-enabled data is tracking global trade, fighting illegal logging & fishing, tracking major construction and infrastructure projects, and addressing humanitarian challenges, including tracking human migration, around the globe.
DATA.SPACE2018, organised by the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA), is the global forum of the new space revolution, attracting delegates from North America to Asia, from new start-up companies to major, multi-billion dollar multi-nationals, from engineers, academics and scientists to civil servants and politicians from around the World.
Dr Malcolm Macdonald, Director of SoXSA, based at the University of Strathclyde, said: “At SoXSA we bring space down to Earth and one of the key drivers of DATA.SPACE2018 is to raise awareness of the commercial opportunities that are being created by the democratisation of space, providing a platform for start-ups, investors, and decision, policy, knowledge, and data makers to network and discover our tomorrow, today.
“It provides an opportunity for thought-leaders across start-ups, investors and decision makers to network and discover new possibilities, whether it’s improving crop monitoring and yield prediction, or aiding preparations for and recovery from natural disasters.
No other conference focuses solely on the application of data from space across such a range of sectors, and then goes further to engage with policy makers to ensure these new opportunities can be realised and the benefits reaped.”
Included in the agenda for the two-day conference, delegates will discover the types of data coming from satellites, such as video images, and the platforms used to capture, process, analyse and enable the data to address challenges on Earth.
This year’s conference will specifically showcase how space can help address humanitarian and sustainable development challenges, whilst also addressing the venture-capital and emerging global markets perspective.
The conference will launch the inaugural DATA.SPACE Ones2Watch, promoting some of the most exciting start-ups in the sector.
Speakers at the event, which is sponsored by Spire, Ecometrica, DigitalGlobe and Spaceknow include: Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency; Andy Tatem, Director of WorldPop/Flowminder; Anne Hale Miglarese, CEO, Radiant.Earth; Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire and Dr Richard Tipper, chairman of Ecometrica.
Nick Allain, Director of Brand at Spire, the conference’s headline sponsor, said: “DATA.SPACE is an incredible conference when it comes to the sharing and proliferation of ideas in the world of satellite data.
“This year's panels will be even more enlightening than last and we're looking forward to all the great meetings. For us, this is a chance to come together once per year in the city where we build our satellites to celebrate the data that they collect.”
Scotland’s space sector is thriving with an annual turnover of £2.5 billion per year, employing over 7,200 people, around 18% of the UK’s space industry employment, with nano or CubeSat manufacturing a growing speciality.
Dr Richard Tipper, chairman of Ecometrica, the downstream space and satellite data mapping company, said: “With its high concentration of relevant space and Earth Observation (EO) expertise, Scotland has the opportunity to capitalise on the increasing commercialisation of the global space economy and become a leading force in space applications.
“It has both a strong potential domestic market in the form of Scottish government agencies and other organisations involved in forestry, fisheries, agriculture, natural disaster protection such as floods; and a major opportunity for exporting its successful models and technologies to other countries and regions.
"Already, EO is being used to ensure sustainability projects are effective and that environmental protection laws are being adhered to - for example, through the UK Space Agency's International Partnership Programme - 'Forests 2020' project, which is set to improve the management and protection across 300 million hectares of tropical forests.
Dr Macdonald added: “Scotland has developed a real specialism in developing CubeSats, which coupled with our space applications' ability to make use of the data gathered by them, positions Scotland as an increasingly recognised world leader in this field.”
The conference is being held at the Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde on 1-2 February. To register to attend visit: www.dataspace.xyz