Twenty two youngsters, aged between 13 and 21, were offered the chance to pitch their proposals to a panel of leading space industry experts after winning the SatelLife Challenge featured in BBC Breakfast on the 26th June.
The competition winners were offered help to turn their ideas into a reality and shared how they see satellites improving life on Earth. The experts offered a range of support to develop the ideas including funding, patent advice and invitations to discuss job opportunities as well as introductions to the other relevant experts for further help.
The winning ideas included a GPS wristband uses satellite location data and communications services to that identify the locations of swimmers and surfers in the sea and an app to map changes in urban areas using satellites and algorithms, identifying where building is taking place and potential sites for development.
Emily Gravestock, Head of Applications Strategy UK Space Agency, said:
The standard of presentations provided by the students was exceptional, even better than some companies who pitch to us. We’ve seen the future of satellite applications from these young people, and I’m excited to see what they could achieve over the coming years.
Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Downstream Business Applications at ESA, said:
With the capabilities of satellites developing so rapidly, new ideas for services that use their data and connections are coming thick and fast. We’ve seen that the ideas of UK’s young, tech-literate generation are just as achievable as those being developed by mature companies, addressing challenges for vulnerable people and in our own daily lives that could never have been solved before
The other judges on the panel were Stuart Martin, Chief Executive of Satellite Applications Catapult, Adam Brocklehurst, Patent Attorney at K2 IP Limited, Adina Gillespie, Institutional Strategist at Earth i and Karen Roche, Business Development Director at Kx Technology.
A group of school children from Cornwall and a student from Wiltshire were the overall winners of the SatelLife Challenge. Ellie Jones, Jessica Knight, both 15, Summer Jeffery and Emily Haddrell, both 14, from Truro, scooped £7,500 for the best group entry with their Surf Safe concept. Ieuan Higgs, from Chippenham, received £7,500 for the best individual entry for his Infrastructure Planning and Development Analysis Tool and a further seven entries were awarded £5,000.