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Skin booster: Cosmetics delivered by space technology

Portuguese start-up LaserLeap uses space technology for delivering cosmetics or ‘skin boosters’ – painless, needle-free, non-invasive treatments to rejuvenate and enhance the facial skin, with hyaluronic acid and LaserLeap’s laser piezoporation. Image credit: Shutterstock

A high-tech skin treatment which comes right from the heart of the space industry is revolutionising the way in which global aesthetic and transdermal treatments are made. Why would anyone reach for Botox injections when technology inspired by innovations in rocket ignition can transform your skin without needles? 

This story began when ESA Space Solutions supported researchers from Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) in qualifying laser ignition technology for future rocket launchers – such as the Ariane family. 

SAL has a history of transferring ground-breaking research into application-orientated commercial projects. The team was optimistic that there were other possibilities for this ultra-compact, pulsed, high-power laser technology, which they called ‘HIPoLas’ (High Power Laser).

From rocket booster to skin booster

The next significant step in the technology translation took place when SAL and ESA Space Solutions technology broker in Austria, Brimatech, started in parallel to actively promote the use of HIPoLas in non-space sectors. An ESA Demonstration Project with an application in analytics began and in 2017 a commercial Feasibility Study was carried out by Brimatech. The development was supported by ESA’s Technology Transfer and Patent Office (TTPO).

“The Feasibility Study gave insights into the market opportunities for mobile analytical devices based on HIPoLas technology”, says Susanne Katzler-Fuchs, Managing Partner, Brimatech.  “The study also looked at the needs and even identified potential contacts in a special igniting application. The findings confirmed that the robustness of the HIPoLas solution is extremely beneficial for various sectors and mobile appliances. So, Silicon Austria Labs focused their search for partners in the medical and cosmetic sector on mobile devices”, adds Susanne Katzler-Fuchs.

In 2019 SAL established a relationship with LaserLeap S.A. for the production, use and application of high-frequency ultrasound for the permeabilisation of biological barriers such as the skin. LaserLeap S.A. produce high-frequency ultrasound by the ultra-rapid conversion of a laser beam into pressure through highly absorbent materials – which critically are not destroyed during this physical process. 

These converters absorb the energy of the laser beam and convert it into a high-frequency ultrasound capable of making the skin permeable temporarily. This means that drugs/molecules can be diffused or ‘transported’ through the skin, replacing hypodermic injections used in cosmetic treatments. The skin recovers its barrier function within just a few minutes giving impeccable results. 

The space laser system is set to be used in a new generation of mobile skin treatment devices, benefitting from its space-proven robustness and performance.

LaserLeap was created at the Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) in 2012. IPN has an ESA Space Solutions Centre, and was the first among the 22 other European ESA centres, to host within the same entity, the three areas promoting downstream businesses: ESA Business Incubation Centres, ESA Technology Broker Network and ESA Business Applications Ambassadors.

Deep tech spin-off success

Laser Ignition technology from Austria, an ARIANE 6 engine demonstrator  Image credit: Ariane Group Holding

Carlos Cerqueira, IPN Innovation Director and Portuguese ESA Space Solutions Centre Coordinator says: “LaserLeap is a clear case of a deep tech spin-off that has used state-of-the-art technology and created a new product and market. We supported them from an early stage in our incubator, and although deep tech start-ups with low TRLs always have a more difficult path to the market, it’s a more rewarding path in the end. Using space technology was the natural evolution of a start-up that has consistently been disruptive with the use of new technologies and one step ahead of the competition.”

The engagement of SAL's laser technology in non-space markets has been essential for the further growth of SAL's laser activities. Health and medical applications give SAL the chance to increase their scope and experience, helping them to be more competitive in the space business.

“We’ve made painless treatments possible for delivering cosmetics and drugs through the skin. It’s a safe, simple and affordable solution for the global aesthetic and transdermal drug-delivery market. We’ve created a whole new range of possibilities for replacing needle-based procedures in the aesthetic field”, states Carlos Serpa, CEO of LaserLeap.

 

 

ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND PATENT OFFICE

The TTPO's funding for demonstration activities aim at proving the relevance of transferring a given technology or know-how into the non-space context, reducing the technical risk and confirming the market opportunity. An annual open call invites the submission of proposals from industry for Feasibility Studies, Proof of Concepts and Demonstrators. These have been designed as a funnel of activities, de-risking the activities on a step-by-step basis. Please see here for more information. 

ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go to place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. ESA Space Solutions is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, ESA Business Applications Ambassadors and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from €50k to €2M and supports everything from technology transfer, business incubation, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects.

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SEA-KIT: Robo-boats scanning the ocean floor

SEA-KIT has achieved the feat of operating an uncrewed vessel over the horizon. This Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE award-winning technology has now matured into a viable commercial offering. (Image credit:  Fugro 12m USV, SEA-KIT International)

An uncrewed surface vessel (USV) that uses satellite technology supported by ESA Space Solutions is helping to collect unprecedented amounts of ocean data. So let’s train our binoculars on SEA-KIT, the remotely-controlled robo-boat that’s making waves in the maritime sector.

The quality of our oceans is declining with an increasing demand for better stewardship of this global resource. As of June 2020 only 20% of the ocean floor had been mapped. However, large vessels are costly and have a heavy operational carbon footprint with frequent crew changes (flights). 

The multibeam data collected during the project was shared with The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed2030 project helping to contribute to their goals of mapping the oceans by 2030.  (Image credit: Rich Edwards, ENP Media)

“The challenge we’ve always had is the amount of data that needs to be communicated between the vessel and the shore,” says  Neil Tinmouth, Chief Operating Officer of SEA-KIT. “This is something that SEA-KIT’s USVs now successfully address.” 

SEA-KIT’s 12m Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) known as ‘Maxlimer’ proved astonishing capability in conducting long endurance over-the-horizon surveys using satellite communication on a 22-day Atlantic mission in July 2020.Uncrewed vessels operating ‘over the horizon’ are dependent on satellite communication to transfer situational awareness information from the vessel to operators – which can then be assessed to send back appropriate ‘command and control’ signals. 

Unexplored ocean frontiers

Maxlimer surveyed more than 1000km2 of previously-unmapped ocean floor on Europe’s continental margin and collected a staggering 1.5 billion data units. 

“The vessel receives situational awareness information from six CCTV cameras, a thermal imaging camera, radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System),” says Piera di Vito, Technical Officer at ESA. “This round-the-clock information is sent back to the remote-control centre in Essex via one of the communication channels on board. These communication channels include maritime VSAT antennae with multiple VSAT backup. Throughout Maxlimer’s mission, the communication robustness of the VSAT communication reached just over 98% availability data units.” 

SEA-KIT is currently building a series of USVs for leading Geo-data specialist, Fugro, the first of which is now undergoing trials in Australia ahead of commencing uncrewed ROV pipeline inspections on the country’s North West Shelf.

 “This is a huge achievement for the British SME, says Piera. “We are thrilled to have helped SEA-KIT in spite of the challenges of the health crisis. This is a hot topic – it can be difficult to find place in the market, but SEA-KIT have done it!

“The strategic partnership with Fugro who supported the project also represents a major acceleration to Fugro’s strategy of leading the development of remote and autonomous solutions – and they have become sustainable commercially”. 

Peter Walker, Director of Technology at SEA-KIT, says:  “This project has demonstrated the capabilities of current technologies to survey unexplored or inadequately surveyed ocean frontiers. It is a ground-breaking achievement to prove true over-the-horizon capability. Uncrewed vessels are set to play a prominent role in the future of marine survey and inspection.” 

Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency who co-funded the project through ESA’s Space Solutions Business Applications programme adds: “Robot boats could radically change the way we work at sea and this project has given us a unique window into the future potential of satellite-enabled maritime operations.”

 

 

ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early-stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects. 

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Smart and Uncrewed Shipping

ESA is ready to support Industry in developing and demonstrating services addressing Smart and Uncrewed Shipping that are enabled by converged Space and 5G communications and/or advanced PNT technologies. 

On 17 March 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA), in coordination with several maritime stakeholders throughout Europe, will launch a Call for Proposals. The call will invite companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating commercially sustainable space-based services relying on innovative technologies in Telecommunications and Satellite Navigation, such as 5G and advanced PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing) technologies. Solutions are expected to address the needs identified by maritime stakeholders including European ports, EU and government agencies, maritime authorities, industry associations and alliances. 

With respect to the UK, ESA is cooperating with the UK Space Agency, UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Department for Transport (DfT).  This collaboration is based on the Memorandum of Intent signed in December 2019 by ESA and DCMS, the main purpose of which is to support the emergence of space-based, commercially sustainable products and services, enabled by the deployment of converged 5G terrestrial and space networks. The ESA and DfT collaboration is in view of the development and roll-out of new forms of mobility and transport.

The services shall demonstrate innovation in the application of advanced PNT and/or converged Space and 5G terrestrial communications networks in the maritime sector, paving the way for new connectivity, navigation solutions and sustainable business models for stakeholders operating in this sector. Such services could be conceived to enable improved autonomy and navigation of maritime vessels, efficiency and/or security of port operations, sustainability of processes in the maritime domain, and more.

The call will invite companies to submit proposals for development and demonstration projects showcasing the value of innovative space-based downstream services and solutions in the smart and uncrewed shipping domain. The call themes and use cases have been defined through dialogue with a number of European stakeholders. 

In the UK, besides the contributions of DCMS and DfT outlining UK government strategic priorities in the sector, conversations took place also with stakeholders such as the British Ports Association and UK Major Ports. 

The projects will be funded through the ARTES 5G and Space Solutions programmes of ESA, with a possible supporting contribution of the NAVISP (Navigation Innovation and Support Programme) in relation to the development of advanced navigation technologies.

 “The added value of space technologies in the maritime sector has been self-evident for a long time. The advent of novel telecommunications and navigation capabilities will enable yet more innovative applications in this burgeoning sector, and this call for proposals will catalyse their development and deployment”, stated Elodie Viau, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman from DCMS said: "I look forward to seeing the exciting proposals on how we can harness innovations in space-based and 5G technology to boost our maritime shipping sector. This is the latest in a long list of cutting-edge projects we are funding to explore how 5G-powered emerging technologies, from driverless vehicles to drones, can be the rocket fuel British industries need to build back better from the pandemic.”

Proposals can be submitted anytime until 15 September 2021. Please note that two deadlines will be in place – the first on 15 June, the second on 15 September.  Proposals will be assessed and feedback provided at each of these times.

Join in on 17 March 2021 CET for a live conversation with representatives of ESA, DCMS, UKSA, DfT and experts within the maritime sector to reflect on this opportunity, the problems and opportunities within maritime today and those anticipated in the future. 

The call is open to European companies from subscribed member states. Additional information can be found at: https://business.esa.int/funding/invitation-to-tender/smart-and-uncrewed-shipping

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Saturnalia: Raise your glass to space data!

By integrating geospatial data collected from satellites and weather stations, Saturnalia is unlocking insights about vineyards worldwide.  (Image credit: Klagyivik Viktor/Shutterstock)

Space data is now being used to ensure fine wine gets to your palate with a smoother trajectory. Find out how new service Saturnalia – with its quality data reports, 3D maps and virtual visits – is boosting this significant business sector. 

The global wine industry generates $29 billion in annual revenue* and yet bad weather, blight, or other unforeseen hitches can mean a drastic drop in production – creating concerns for winegrowers, investors – and, of course, wine-lovers in general! 

Technology supported by ESA Space Solutions is now being used by Ticinum Aerospace to create a satellite-based ‘digital twin’ of vineyards that can be used to take care of the real ones. The system can assess the health and quality of the grapes – and has even gone as far as making remote ‘dégustations’ possible during the recent health crisis, when the gates of the chateaux were forced to close. 

Using data gathered from satellites and weather stations, Saturnalia provides investors and growers with exclusive data capable of improving their businesses. The service boasts a 3D map of 260 fine-wine vineyards – effectively creating a virtual vineyard. Satellite image analysis is used to protect vineyards and to monitor them.

Until now, a lack of complete data and reliable predictions on wine quality has meant that investors face many uncertainties when putting money into the fine wine market. 

Saturnalia gives early scores on wine quality, computed soon after the harvest and made available before critics can actually taste the wine.  A monthly forecast of prices is based on Saturnalia scores and on market prices using Liv-Ex data. (Image credit: Saturnalia)

Saturnalia as a service can provide trends for future wine prices as well as an assessment of wine quality. The platform encourages transparency for clients, with clear and explicit data on the wine being sold. Saturnalia’s publications contain monthly trends regarding wine prices and assessments of the quality of the recent vintages, helping them decide which appellation to invest in.   

“Saturnalia has an algorithm capable of computing an early score for wine quality, which largely matches the evaluations of experts who actually taste the wine,” says Beatrice Barresi, Technical Officer, ESA. 

“The system automatically incorporates data coming from satellites and from ground-based sensors, combines them and computes the performance score shortly after the harvest. The refresh frequency of space-borne data plays a crucial role in helping determine precise ‘phenological’ (seasonal life cycles) phase transitions, which allows the model to operate correctly on other inputs. 

“The system is built using HLS data, a transformed product processed by NASA based on Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 data. Importantly also ‘chain data’ such as land surface temperature and soil moisture are included in the processing, made available via the Copernicus Land Service.”

Armed with this data, wine-growers can optimise production, leveraging satellite and weather station data to constantly monitor the health of their vineyards and to detect parasites or other diseases. Even better, Saturnalia caters not just for wine producers – but for all who are passionate about the subject, unlocking detailed insights: 

“This is a unique website platform on which everyone, from wine connoisseurs to amateurs, can share, discuss and receive in-depth analyses about wine and vineyards,” says Daniele De Vecchi, Ticinium Aerospace.

As a result of the health crisis, wine experts who would normally meet at a chateau to assess wines had to find other tools and parameters to check the quality of the wine remotely (Image credit: Nataliia Trushkina/Shutterstock).

Virtual vineyards

Saturnalia offers a unique opportunity to visit vineyards remotely. From your own home you can find out where the wine in your glass comes from – and have a birds-eye view of the vineyards where the grapes grew.

“As Saturnalia exploits satellite imagery and uses remote sensing techniques, the project can address potential users and vineyards scattered all over the world,” says De Vecchi. 

He also talks about how ESA support was key in launching the service:

"ESA’s demonstration project was exactly the piece we were missing in Saturnalia's path to commercial success. We felt our idea seemed too science-intensive and curiosity-driven to be appealing for a private investor. ESA's endorsement opened doors, and the co-funding and tutoring led us to building a marketable, commercial service, with the first customers starting to sign up.” 

Future plans are for Saturnalia to cover global wine production, which also means coverage of global grape production. “From the ground alone, it would be practically impossible to monitor vast vineyards scattered across the globe,” says De Vecchi. “This vital satellite perspective is fundamental in tracking the evolution of vineyards in time.”

Santé everyone. Let’s drink to that!

 

 

ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early-stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects. 

*According to Zachary Elfman https://www.toptal.com/finance/market-sizing/wine-industry

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Portuguese project supported by European Space Agency (ESA) Space Solutions aims to "clean up" the Azores ports

Portos dos Açores, the port authority of the Azores, will be the first to test the environmental monitoring solutions developed within the scope of the PORT XXI - Space Enabled Sustainable Port Service project.

The PORT XXI - Space Enabled Sustainable Port Service project aims to develop and implement monitoring and environmental management solutions, in order to improve the management of complex activities and achieve zero pollution in the ports of Azores.

“This project comprehends two dimensions: the environmental aspect and the element related to port activities, thus providing several advantages. On the one hand, real-time monitoring solutions will ensure a wider coverage of water and air quality parameters. On the other hand, the forecasting tools will enable a better planning of the port activities, and automate tasks that were exclusively manual until quite recently”, explained Aníbal Matos, a researcher at the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), and lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). 

The study will resort to several sources of information, like Earth observation via satellite, and meteorological, oceanographic and CCTV data, while extracting knowledge from said data, through Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. It will rely on automated robotic solutions and resort to communication and satellite navigation infrastructures - under normal operating conditions, as well as during extreme weather events, thus assessing the impact of climate change. In environmental terms, this project addresses several issues related to water (oil and plastic spills) and air (COx, SOx, NOx, PM10, PM2.5) quality. 

INESC TEC is the entity leading this project, in charge of port management systems, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous marine robotics. The project also includes the Air Center, which will study the use of solutions based on Earth observation technology, for monitoring pollution in ports; IN +, in charge of the economic impact analysis; the Portos dos Açores, as end users, and MONIPORT and David Mendes/AMBERJACK SOLUTIONS, the providers of environmental monitoring and management services 

In addition, other relevant port authorities and entities were invited to participate in the User and Stakeholder Group (USG), with many already showing significant interest: the port of Huelva, ENAPOR – Ports of Cape Verde, and the ports of Aveiro, Lisbon, Setúbal and Sesimbra; the Portuguese Ports Association (APP); governmental entities (the Azores Government, FRCT - Regional Foundation for Science and Technology and SEMA - Bahia State Environment Secretariat); business entities (Maritime Cluster of the Canarias and EMERGE), as well as training entities (UTA - Technical University of Atlantic - Cape Verde).

ESA co- funds the project through Business Applications, part of ESA Space Solutions, allocating €200K to the PORT XXI.

About ESA Space Solutions

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. The mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life.  

Porto – February 02, 2021

For further inquiries:
Eunice Oliveira
Communication Service
INESC TEC
FEUP Campus
Rua Dr Roberto Frias
4200-465 Porto
Portugal
P +351 22 209 4118
M +351 934 224 331
eunice.i.oliveira@inesctec.pt
www.inesctec.pt

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Information Day for ESA Technology Broker and Business Applications Ambassador in Poland

Image credit: Shutterstock

The European Space Agency (ESA), in coordination with the Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology, is planning to open a tender on the implementation and management of an ESA Technology Broker and Business Applications Ambassador (TEAM) in Poland.

To support interest in this opportunity ESA Space Solutions is organising a virtual Information Day for potential bidders in Poland for the morning of 10 March. Join on Wednesday 10 March 11:00 CET to hear from an expert panel with representatives of ESA, ESA Technology Broker Austria and ESA Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador South West England & South Wales on ESA’s approach towards technology transfer brokerage and commercial space-enabled applications and objectives for ESA TEAM in Poland. 

The first part of this webinar will showcase the ESA TEAM model, its implementation and success across ESA Member States. The second part of the webinar will focus on tips by the ESA Industrial Policy team on how to write a proposal for ESA tenders and is applicable beyond this particular opportunity. 

The opportunity is due to open in Q2 2021. It will be open for Polish companies to submit proposals for the implementation and management of ESA TEAM in Poland. 

Please see the draft agenda below: 

PART 1: INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME 

11.00 – 11.10 CET

THE OPPORTUNITY - BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION SESSION  

11.10 – 11.30 CET

THE PERSPECTIVE OF AN ESA TECHNOLOGY BROKER AND BUSINESS APPLICATIONS AMBASSADOR 

11.30 – 11.40 CET

QUESTIONS 

11.40 – 12.00  CET

PART 2: TIPS ON WRITING A PROPOSAL FOR AN ESA TENDER   

12.00 – 13.00 CET

*** This webinar has taken place on 10 March 2021 ***

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ESA BIC supports company leading first space debris removal mission

The ClearSpace-1 mission is targeted for 2025 and involves a consortium of companies from eight countries, led by ClearSpace, ESA BIC Switzerland alumnus.

Following incubation at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) in Switzerland, start-up ClearSpace has been awarded a contract by ESA to launch the first mission to remove space debris. The ClearSpace-1 mission is planned for 2025, spearheading a movement to tackle the growing problem of space debris as the satellite market booms. 

Space debris is an increasing problem, with hundreds of satellites now being launched every year to provide global communication and Earth observation services. In 2019, ESA-operated satellites alone had to conduct 21 debris avoidance manoeuvres. Such actions are likely to increase as there are over 3000 functioning satellites in orbit and similar numbers of defunct ones, with more than 28 000 debris objects regularly tracked in orbit. 

ESA has long recognised the need to tackle the issue of space debris. The concept of a commercial debris removal mission was approved in November 2019 at the Space19+ ESA Ministerial Council session and ESA signed the service contract a year later with the consortium led by ClearSpace. This is part of ESA’s active Debris Removal/In-Orbit Servicing (ADRIOS) project within ESA’s Space Safety Programme.

ClearSpace missions will use robotic arms to capture space debris and then together they will burn up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

From start-up to space debris removal service

ClearSpace was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Space Center, a research facility that has been developing active space debris capture and removal technologies since 2012. ClearSpace was incubated at ESA BIC Switzerland from January 2018 to December 2019. 

“According to Luc Piguet, CEO and co-founder of ClearSpace, the company was only initiated after being accepted to ESA BIC Switzerland as the two founders saw the potential to create the space company with the available support of the programme,” explained Dr Nanja Strecker, Managing Director of ESA BIC Switzerland / ETH Zurich.

“The founders pursued their vision with great enthusiasm and energy, overcoming many obstacles to make ClearSpace what it is today. ESA BIC Switzerland is very proud that the first Swiss prime contractor is an alumnus from our ESA BIC.”

Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of ESA’s Innovation and Ventures Office, said, “There is no reason why significant space missions should only be run by large, established companies. Expertise, new ways and innovation are what is important. ClearSpace is a great example of how the support received during incubation at an ESA BIC can enable a start-up with both of these to achieve significant success in a relatively short space of time.”


The ClearSpace-1 mission is targeted for 2025 and involves a consortium of companies from eight countries, led by ClearSpace.

Affordable in-orbit servicing

The ClearSpace-1 mission is targeting the conical upper portion of a Vega Secondary Payload Adaptor (Vespa), which was used to deliver satellites into space and is itself approximately the size and mass of a small satellite. The ClearSpace-1 chaser will use robotic arms to capture Vespa, which is no longer controllable from Earth, and both will then burn up harmlessly during a controlled re entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The mission is not a one-off, however. “ClearSpace-1 will remove a debris item from orbit for the first time, but our overall objective is to bring down the cost of sustainable space operations and build up our capabilities for future commercial in-orbit services,” said Luc Piguet from ClearSpace. 

“In collaboration with ESA we will demonstrate core technologies for in-orbit servicing and deliver the complete value chain of ‘removal as a service’, keeping a firm eye on recurring services and design costs.”

The Kessler syndrome highlights the need for sustainability

As long ago as 1978, NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler proposed a theoretical scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) would reach a point at which any collision between two objects would lead to an unstoppable cascade of more collisions. 

When fragments get too small, they can be undetectable from Earth. However, they can still cause significant damage to satellites we depend on for everyday services – and continue the exponential growth of debris. By the time we detect a Kessler syndrome occurrence, it could be too late to recover.

Piguet commented, “Today it has become evident that we have to rethink space operations if we are serious about building the future we hope for. Sustainability has to be embedded in core operational concepts. Our space operations of tomorrow need to be space neutral.”


ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects. 

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Space for Green Applications

ESA Space Solutions has published a report that sets out how satellite applications can support sustainable development. 

The report covers key green challenges faced by various sectors today and displays how satellite applications can help to tackle these environmental challenges. It features seven topics and lists upcoming green funding opportunities organised by ESA Space Solutions:

  1. Energy
  2. Industry 
  3. Construction 
  4. Transport 
  5. Agriculture 
  6. Biodiversity 
  7. Pollution

To discover more, download the report by click the image below:  

This report can be shared openly. 

If you are interested in applying for any of green funding calls mentioned in the report, please visit https://business.esa.int and scroll down to 'Featured Opportunities'.

If you are interested in partnering with ESA Space Solutions on future green initiatives please contact business@esa.int.

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Award-winning health app enhanced by GNSS-enabled features

Meet Care View, the web-app that uses GNSS positioning to improve the accuracy of outreach and door-knocking to identify socially isolated older residents in a city, helping councils save money. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A health app which has been improving lives of older people and newly-arrived migrants in Leeds is vastly increasing its reach and effectiveness, thanks to interactive new features from a fruitful collaboration between Urban Sustainable Development Lab and ESA Space Solutions. 

Social isolation has a devastating effect on individuals and the community but the economic cost can also be high – especially for local councils. For instance, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness states that disconnected communities could be costing the UK economy £32 billion every year*.  

Space adds value: GNSS location data is used to show ‘hotspots’ – for example where curtains might be closed for days or rubbish is piling up. This information is generated automatically – in a single step – when the user taps a heart icon. (Image credit: USDL)

Care View began as a pioneering outreach project by the Urban Sustainable Development Lab (USDL) in 2016 when Leeds City Council were seeking to engage with the 10% most deprived population – individuals ‘swallowed up’ in the vastness of the city and lost to the multiple challenges of outreach. 

The application uses smartphone technology to help detect vulnerable individuals and presents information in the form of accurate, easy-to-read ‘heat maps’ to frontline healthcare workers across the city. 

A promising initial 12-month NHS-funded trial had already highlighted Care View’s impact and effectiveness in Leeds. Critically during the trial several new features were identified that would make the app more effective, and so the collaboration with ESA began. 

The project’s next phase was to be shaped directly by its users with the added value of space technology, gearing Care View towards commercial expansion. 

Tap on the heart – help for the socially isolated              

“Care View as a solution immediately impressed me,” says Antje Vogel, Technical Officer at ESA. “The technical concept is very simple but is combined with an exceptionally intuitive user interface that really makes a difference.” 

Care View’s two main features – a secure heat map of social isolation hotspots, and a signposting tool towards support services, were expanded and enhanced. 

“The added features mean users can improve the original dataset based on their assessment as the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning automatically updates the map based on their location,” says Antje.  

Care View won the NHS innovation award in 2017 as well as the ITEC award for innovation in 2019. The app has shown not only to improve the provision of care, but creates financial savings for councils. (Image credit: USDL)

Hotspots can now be graded according to need, with the added ability of differentiating between types of users –  radically improving cross-agency collaboration. This includes health workers, the police, third sector organisations and Fire and Rescue services. Users can also leave comments about a hotspot following a site visit – avoiding duplication of effort and ensuring technical dependencies are up to date. 

Critically, vulnerable residents can now trust that the signposting information is accurate, as the app is connected directly to the council’s database. (Previously an issue when residents reached out only to find the service no longer existed, or had moved with no further contact details)  This gives more credibility to frontline workers, who gain enormously from the new features. 

“The actionable insights now available to outreach teams and the low operational costs allow cities to efficiently use their resources to find and help socially isolated residents,” says Antje. 

Abhay Adhikari, Founder of USDL says:  “Despite Covid-19 hitting at a vital moment in the project, the team managed to wrap up the pilots, implement all the new features in our customers’ live environment and validate they had met the users’ requirements.

“ESA offered consistent analysis and perspective, with sensitivity and flexibility. With Antje’s support we created meaningful workarounds during the restrictions - such as consultations, focus groups and workshops.” Abhay Adhikari, USDL

There are already plans for Care View to be rolled out in Europe with potential customers in Germany and Denmark. (Image credit:USDL)

Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the frontline workers piloting Care View wanted to keep using it. “They were totally committed to this tool – this was a big vote of confidence!“ says Abhay. 

“Care View really is a people-powered solution!”. “We were determined to show social impact cases can become a business case. Working with ESA taught us the importance of revisiting the business model. The situation on the ground is very important when it comes to public health. Everyone is so passionate about what they do, we spent so much time workshopping with frontline teams asking them ‘how do you actually work’?”

Care View is now being deployed further in the pilot cities Leeds and Bury and the team are looking  to Europe to the roll out the app to other cities – with potential customers already lined up in Italy, Germany and Denmark. The Lab is collecting expressions of interest in Care View for 2021 pilots and rollouts

ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects.

ABOUT URBAN SUSTAINABLE LAB 

Urban Sustainable Development Lab is a division of Dhyaan Design. It was setup in 2015 to offer affordable and robust digital solutions to cities who want to address complex social and environmental issues. This includes community safety, domestic violence, public transport and access to cultural heritage. In 2016, the Lab was named one of UK’s 50 New Radicals by NESTA and the Observer Newspaper. In 2018, it was named a World Changing Idea by US Magazine FastCompany.  

 

*https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publi...

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The Space you need to power sustainability

The Space you need to power sustainability 

We are pleased to announce that the first cohort of ASPIRE WITH ESA, the purpose-driven acceleration initiative of ESA Space Solutions, was kicked-off on December 8th 2020.

The cohort consists of four exciting “powered by space” companies targeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to achieve a better and more sustainable future!

  • BaseN is working to build a unified industrial IoT platform.
  • Sensonomic finds actionable insight for adaptive agriculture.
  • EZ Lab is integrating blockchain technology into the agri-food sector to improve levels of traceability, transparency and certification.
  • Kermap provides a platform to visualize, analyse and produce insight on geographic information. 

The cohort will embark onto a journey to demonstrate they can deliver economically viable innovations while developing social impact. In particular, the selected cohort focuses on the following SDGs: 

  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable Cities & Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

ASPIRE WITH ESA provides up to €200 K of funding, access to ESA’s extensive network and partners, and technology/business content through our experts, to companies that can link their work to the UN’s SDG’s and want to take advantage of space technology.

A second call for projects opens in January 2021! For more information about ASPIRE WITH ESA visit https://business.esa.int/news/aspire-esa-live.

ABOUT ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, ESA Business Applications and ASPIRE with ESA. Funding typically ranges from 50 KEuro to 2 MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects.

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