This initiative aligns to the Northern Ireland Space Sector Strategy, launched in October 2016 which set a vision to develop Northern Ireland as a globally recognised region for space sector innovation and creativity. Thus it perfectly fits with the Airbus’ strategy to extend its digital ecosystem through programs like the “Global Earth Observation Challenge” launched in May 2017.
“As leading Space Company, we have an essential role to play in the promotion of satellite benefits to non-space communities to highlight how we can provide support to current societal challenges and uncover viable business opportunities for SMEs” said François Lombard, Head of the Intelligence Business Cluster at Airbus Defence and Space.
Welcoming the initiative, Bill Montgomery, Invest NI’s Director of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering said: “Airbus’ space challenge offers many different types of business the opportunity to scope out growth areas for their business using data from satellites. The UK Space Agency projects the global space related market to be worth €440bn by 2030 and Invest NI is working to help ensure Northern Ireland companies, academia and those with related interests in the Space Sector share in the growth opportunities.”