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UK Space Agency: Sustainable Development

Volume 667: debated on Monday 4 November 2019

The UK Space Agency is offering up to £8 million in grant funding to tackle sustainable development challenges in developing and emerging countries.

These challenges include the growing need for developing countries around the world to build resilience to the effects of climate change. Today’s funding will help to forge new partnerships with countries and better understand their needs.

This round of funding includes a collaboration with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, who will provide match funding and invite UK organisations and other international partners to work with them on projects to deliver sustainable benefits to small island developing states in the Pacific.

The funding comes from the UK Space Agency’s international partnership programme, a £30 million-a year-programme funded by the global challenges research fund.

Through supporting satellite-led information projects, the international partnership programme makes a real and practical difference to the lives of citizens and builds skills and expertise.

This is the third round of funding from the international partnership programme, which already supports 33 projects in 44 countries. These projects help developing countries tackle a wide range of challenges including deforestation, food security and disaster resilience.

In addition, this call invites consortiums to bid on any topic with any developing country. This will help to forge new partnerships with countries and understand their needs ahead of a follow-on funding call to underpin operational capabilities.

The international partnership programme is the world’s largest space for a sustainable development programme, involving 120 UK organisations and 147 international organisations since 2016. I am pleased to note that the programme was recently recognised by Space and Satellite Professionals International in the “Better Satellite World” awards.