The UK Space Agency is propelling Earth Observation (EO) technology to new heights with a significant £15 million funding announcement. This crucial investment will advance humanity's understanding of the planet and its climate, benefitting a range of environmental services like meteorology, climate monitoring, agriculture, and more.
As the UK government aims to maintain its leadership in EO technology and expertise for commercial and public services, this funding comes at a pivotal moment. The resources will support the research and development of space-based instruments, accelerating the growth of promising UK EO technologies, many of which could find their way into satellites in the near future.
Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, George Freeman MP, emphasized the importance of EO technology in tackling modern challenges, from monitoring climate change to responding to humanitarian disasters. He stated, "This pivotal technology doesn't stop there, from ensuring the safety of bridges to enabling our farmers to get the best from their land, this £15 million investment will boost our economy and drive forward our ambition to make the UK a science superpower."
Delivered by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI), the Earth Observation Technology Programme funding is part of a larger £400 million package announced in November 2022 to bolster the UK's Earth Observation sector. The funding will cover Pathfinder projects of up to £75,000, Fast Track projects of up to £250,000, and Flagship projects of up to £3 million. These projects will nurture innovation, supporting early-stage research, experimental hardware, and further technology development.
Since 2016, the Earth Observation Technology Programme has granted £20 million in funding across 57 projects, underscoring the UK Space Agency's commitment to nurturing technological advancements in this critical field.