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SA space agency, Airbus launch challenge to find new uses for satellite data

The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and Airbus Defence and Space has launched an open innovation challenge to entrepreneurs, universities and other interested parties seeking homegrown and novel uses for earth observation data obtained by satellites.

In a press release to Ventureburn, The Innovation Hub — which is running the challenge — said shortlisted submissions will be able to access support from specialists at Airbus Defence and Space, and Sansa.

Top submissions would also receive access to the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in order to identify future commercial opportunities.

The offer will include a site visit to Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. In South Africa, The Innovation Hub, based in Pretoria, will assist the top solution provider with product and business incubation support.

Those with top submissions will be able to request data sets at no cost, and will also receive a three day workshop on business model design, validation, pitching and negotiation to help them to prepare their proposals for final evaluation.

‘Value that earth observation data can provide in creating meaningful change is increasing’

Business introductions will be facilitated with senior decision makers at potential client organisations through a business matchmaking workshop.

Sansa and Airbus Defence and Space believe there is significant opportunity to apply earth observation data locally.

Th project’s coordinator Davis Cook said the┬áchallenge gives South African entrepreneurs an opportunity to gain a foothold into a global, multi-billion dollar industry together with one of the largest global aerospace firms.

“The value that earth observation data can provide in creating meaningful change to society is increasing by the day — new digital technologies such as machine learning are giving us unprecedented insight into the world around us.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 17 July and can be submitted via the OpenIX website.

There will be an introductory challenge workshop at the beginning of June to assist interested parties in understanding the open innovation process and to address individual technical queries.

For any challenge process or technical queries contact Heinrich Williems at +27 (0) 83 305 9224 or send an email to openix@theinnovationhub.com.


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