Space agency searches for young engineers’ ideas

Posted on 18 Jan 2018 and read 507 times
Space agency searches for young engineers’ ideasA space agency challenge aims
to improve life on Earth by developing innovative satellite proposals from the UK’s young engineers and scientists.

The challenge could see people aged 11-22 secure a spot in this fast-growing sector of the economy and a share of a £50,000 prize.

The SatelLife Challenge is led by the UK Space Agency ( and features judges from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell and the satellite industry.

The competition, running for a second year, searches for ideas that could use data collected from space to benefit the economy, public health or the environment.

Previous winners received a mix of expert guidance, including support to build prototypes, business development advice and a visit to a satellite factory.

The UK space industry builds 40% of the world’s small satellites and 25% of the world’s telecommunications satellites. It supports 40,000 jobs and generates £14 billion in revenue across the country.

Science minister Jo Johnson said: “Satellites are shaping our society and are increasingly important for our economy. Every second, they send information around the world, keep shipping lanes and flightpaths clear, and help us get to where we want to be.

“Young people will be an integral part of growing the UK’s share of the global space market to 10% by 2030 — a goal included in the recent Industrial Strategy.

“We need to ensure that the potential benefits of space are felt across the whole economy and encourage young British entrepreneurs to develop ideas that rival the best in the world.”

An app using satellite data to provide information on coastal flood risks won the overall prize in 2017 for 14-year-old James Pearson.

Since winning, he has met a number of experts in this field — including British ESA astronaut Tim Peake — and used his prize money to develop his idea.

The best individual proposal and best team will each win £7,500 this year, with a further seven entries receiving £5,000. The competition closes on 25 February.

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