Dr Nick Appleyard heads ESA’s support for the commercialisation of satellite applications and space-using industry.
Satellite image data, geolocation and telecommunication capabilities power significant business opportunities for new services, especially when integrated with mobile internet and other ground-based systems. Satellites extend the Digital Economy and our awareness of the world to create blanket coverage and reach places that would otherwise be off-grid. If you can see the sky, you can use a satellite. As well as their many uses by public institutions, there are lucrative consumer applications and opportunities in diverse industry sectors. Of particular interest in agriculture, satellites provide situational awareness of land, weather and crop conditions and data access to remote locations.
ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) provides project funding and support to businesses with innovative ideas for such satellite applications. The programme is offered across 19 countries. The investment community has similarly stepped up, with Venture Capital and Business Angel funds working in partnership with ESA, and integrating with business incubators to assemble an integrated support package for growing businesses.