The Satellite Applications Catapult is a not-for-profit research organisation which acts as a neutral trusted entry point to an entire network of UK expertise in applications development across government, academia and industry. The company’s primary purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the satellite applications industry. The Catapult is one of a network of centres established by Innovate UK to accelerate the take up of emerging technologies.
The Catapult recognises that satellite technology has a key role to play in addressing the global challenges around food security and has a strategic interest in the agriculture sector, knowing that satellites can enable and enhance applications in many ways. For example, providing positioning information, they can deliver wide-scale observation on a frequent, regular basis and facilitate communications. Satellites are also resilient to disruption such as disasters and adverse weather, offering growers information at critical points throughout a crop’s lifecycle. The Catapult works with UK farming businesses and service providers, including those wishing to extend their businesses abroad, develop services that are applicable in other countries or take part in international trials or competitions.
Our Agri-Tech Overview
The Satellite Applications Catapult’s primary purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the UK satellite applications industry. With a focus on enabling access to space, geospatial intelligence and ubiquitous connectivity, over the last eight years the SA Catapult has delivered various activities around the world focused on tackling local, regional and global supply chain, production and sustainability challenges. The Agriculture team works closely with government, industry, innovation and academic stakeholders to focus on understanding production and supply chain challenges, and has proven credentials in creating innovation ecosystems between the UK and country of focus to unlock local growth and stimulate export opportunities for the UK. The Satellite Applications Catapult has offers market leading technical, user-centred design, marketing and market intelligence expertise in addition to its broad network across the space and food and drink sectors.
Some of our key current activities include:
- Agri Living Lab
We are developing an Agri Living Lab in partnership with Harper Adams University – a network of real-world test environments that enables users to come together and exploit the latest generation of connectivity. It is designed to help different users from across the agricultural ecosystem come together to collaborate, innovate and co-design solutions to address our global food system needs. The UK has a huge amount of expertise within the space of agri-innovation, including four Agri-Tech Centres of Innovation and world-leading academic and research institutions. The Agri Living Lab is positioned to bridge the divide that exists between this expertise to ensure we create the right environment to stimulate innovation which is critical to address food systems challenges today and into the future.
- 5G Rural Dorset
We are working with Wessex Internet to trial 5G-enabled technology across farms in Dorset, with specific use cases within arable, dairy and aquaculture. This is providing the testbed to evaluate the benefits of 5G to rural areas, and include partners such Small Robot Company, Hummingbird Tech and Kingston Maurward College. It will provide the commercial justification for investment in the products and services trialled as part of the project, with the plan for roll out, scale and benefits provision to be shared this year.
ForestMind is being developed to provide a commercial service delivering actionable insight for a sustainable forest-commodity future. An ESA (European Space Agency) and UKSA (UK Space Agency) funded project has enabled the consortium of 10 partners to build a system with capacity for analytics which, when populated with satellite and supply chain data, enables the detection and analysis of deforestation activity in near real time. ForestMind analysts use the system to create supply chain intelligence for its customers (retailers and other supply chain stakeholders) on the impacts on Forestry arising from commodity production. This intelligence will bring transparency to the true environmental cost of traded commodities and help move us all to net zero deforestation through the food-commodities that are produced. The partners, led by the Satellite Applications Catapult, are 3 Keel, Agrimetrics, AgroIsolab, Global Canopy, Global Surface Intelligence, Telespazio, University of Leicester, University of Sussex and VIVID Economics.
- Pipeline Stimulation Activity – India
Following an initial discovery exercise in March 2021, funded by FCDO & BEIS, the Satellite Applications Catapult is now working with Innovate UK / UKRI, supported by Foreign Commonwealth Development Office and the Department for International Trade, to validate and present granular opportunities within Agriculture in India focused around Enabling Connectivity and Climate Resilience. Several Workshops and Bilateral events, in partnership with Agri-Epi, will take place to identify future commercial / collaborative / research activities and programmes that could be created through joint UK – India Space collaborations.
- UK-Brazil Data Springboard
We are working with Agrimetrics and Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, to evaluate the available geospatial and digital data related to UK-Brazil sourcing, environment and sustainability. This baseline mapping will enable bilateral collaboration and disclosure of supply chain metrics meeting UK sourcing and Brazilian environmental and production requirements, whilst allowing UK agri-tech organisations to identify collaboration opportunities and make better use of Brazilian agricultural data.
For more information on any of the above, or to learn how the Satellite Applications Catapult can work with your organisation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org