Case Study

Aberystwyth University     Back to universities

Working in partnership with the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult

  • Working in partnership with the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult to identify space sector business needs across Wales and the opportunities available for collaboration.
  • A jointly funded Knowledge Exchange Fellowship based in Aberystwyth University to support the development of the Welsh Space sector.
  • Partnerships aims to upskill businesses to ensure jobs and growth within this sector in Wales.

From 2015 to 2017 Aberystwyth University has worked in partnership with the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult to identify space sector business needs across Wales and the opportunities available for collaboration.

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, established by Innovate UK to foster growth across the economy through the exploitation of space. The Satellite Applications Catapult established the knowledge exchange programme to develop a deeper understanding of the scientific research base in the UK that is relevant to the Space sector. Together with Aberystwyth University and the UK Space Agency, the Satellite Applications Catapult has funded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship based in Aberystwyth University. The aim of this fellowship is to support the development of the Welsh Space sector by identifying the needs and opportunities available, with particular emphasis on identifying and supporting the development of the Commercial Downstream Satellite Applications sector in Wales.

The University has hosted events in North, South and Mid Wales in 2016 and 2017. Companies already utilising satellite applications and those wishing to expand their capabilities to include satellite applications in the future were encouraged to collaborate under the initiative. In less than a year, 46 companies and organisations involved have created a buzz of excitement around the use and repurposing of space technologies and data. From these events, many connections have been made between companies, policy makers and academia.

Through this project, Aberystwyth University has reached out across the UK space sector through interdisciplinary collaborations. It has involved students and academics from Geography, Physics and Computer Science Departments as well as the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences interacting. As a result of these interactions, collaborative research projects and partnerships are currently evolving with a view to upskilling the businesses involved and policy makers have an updated understanding of the sector with all improving capabilities for future business development, jobs and growth within this sector in Wales.

In order to achieve this aim, the project will connect academic expertise from Aberystwyth Centre for Space and Earth Monitoring with Welsh business. They will continue to host events throughout Wales to encourage collaborations and support business growth in downstream activities. These events are designed for both companies already utilising satellite applications and those wishing to expand their capabilities to include satellite applications in the future.

For further information see https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/rbi/business/services/initiatives/kexfell.