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UK space skills support sustainable development

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UK satellite-enabled data technology, delivered through UK Aid, is improving the life chances of people around the world, while boosting the UK economy.

Satellite technology and data can improve how we tackle global issues such as deforestation, sustainable food production and disaster response, new analysis shows.

Three new reports, published during World Space Week, which runs from 4 to 10 October, show that space-based solutions are:

+ 12 times more cost effective at delivering sustainable forestry

+ 7 times more cost effective in supporting agriculture

+ Twice as cost effective for ensuring disaster resilience

As well as bringing down the cost of tackling these issues and underpinning better responses for the benefit of developing countries, the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) has generated 279 million pounds in GVA for the UK economy and supports 3,300 jobs. In total the UK gets more than 2 pounds of benefit back for every 1 pounds invested in these projects.

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said: “UK aid is central to delivering innovative satellite technology which, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, is helping us achieve the Global Goals and improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“We are already seeing the work that this partnership is helping to achieve from mapping outbreaks of cholera across Yemen to predicating droughts.”

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “The aim of IPP is to make a positive, practical impact on the lives of those living in developing countries.

“While the UK space sector is a success story at home, generating billions of pounds for our economy and providing 42,000 jobs, these reports show it is also tackling challenges and having a positive impact on the lives of people all over the world.”

IPP, a 30 million pound a year programme, has now funded 33 projects in 44 countries and built partnerships between 120 space-enabled data organisations and 147 international partners in developing countries. These projects tackle UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) such as support for precision agriculture, early warning systems for disasters prediction and disease detection.

Over 2,000 people in 186 organisations have been trained to use IPP-funded solutions. Based on current trends, over 4,000 individuals in developing countries are expected to receive training via IPP by 2021.

IPP focuses on using UK space data service strengths in research and innovation to underpin a sustainable economic or societal benefit to developing economies around the world. It is part of and is funded from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): a 1.5 billion pound fund announced by the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.

The three reports are available here

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Australian Government commits to join NASA in Lunar exploration and beyond

Washington DC (Sputnik) Sep 20, 2019

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his nation’s intention to join the United States’ Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

The announcement took place at a ceremony Saturday at NASA Headquarters in Washington during which NASA Deputy Administrator, Jim Morhard, and Head of the Australian Space Agency, Megan Clark, signed a joint statement of intent. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey and … read more

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