Scottish space sector: satellites support sustainability

scottish space sector
© iStock/rosn123

The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced the Scottish space sector is projected to be worth up to £4 billion (€4.63 billion) by 2030.

Scotland’s space industry comprises a significant proportion of space endeavours in the UK as a whole, valued at £15 billion (€17.37 billion); and is growing at a rate of 3.3 per cent per annum. Nearly 20 per cent of the UK’s 41,900 space sector jobs are based in Scotland.

Ecometrica, an Edinburgh-based space data analysis firm focusing on sustainability, is using data collected by satellites to aid the global effort to combat deforestation and climate change. Satellite mapping technology developed by Ecometrica uses images taken from space, air and land to provide government bodies and private businesses with the necessary data to take action on climate change issues.

Dylan Thomas, Deputy Director of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Advanced Manufacturing at DIT, said: “Ecometrica is a great example of how satellite technology can help tackle economic, societal and environmental issues, solving the most pressing global challenges of our time. The Scottish space sector is dynamic and ever growing, and Scotland alone is home to more than 130 space businesses, generating a combined income of £140m. Businesses like Ecometrica ensure that the UK continues to thrive in the space sector, which is why the Department for International Trade is committed to providing support for hundreds of Scottish businesses to identify export opportunities.”

Ecometrica is deploying its satellite data gathering technology as part of the Forests 2020 project, devised by the UK Space Agency, which aims to improve forest monitoring systems in order to prevent deforestation and optimise the restoration of forested areas. The project covers 300 million hectares of tropical forest in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Indonesia and Kenya.

Gary Davis, CEO of Ecometrica, said: “Our latest growth phase has seen us focus on export markets and expand geographically, especially in the Americas. Our Agile Space approach means we are constantly thinking of new ways to adapt and improve the Ecometrica Platform, and our Research & Development team works very closely with our customers to ensure it meets their current and future needs. We will continue to focus on satellite mapping, which will be an ongoing part of our story as many more governments, organisations and industries wake up to the power of geospatial data and satellite mapping.”

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