Facility for Climate and Environmental Monitoring from Space

The International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) has welcomed the recent announcement from the Technology Strategy Board, UK Space Agency (UKSA) and South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) that 400k pounds of the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) funding will be channelled into projects supported by the CEMS facility at ISIC. The four successful applications for 'Fast Track' CEMS project funding in the NSTP 'Space for Growth' competition were submitted by Magellium, Logica, VEGA Space and NPL. Each project will last for up to nine months. These awards follow the announcement in December by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, of a 3 million pounds Government investment to build the basic infrastructure for the CEMS facility at ISIC.

CEMS is being designed as a collaborative framework to support the open innovation necessary to stimulate growth in the market for new services based on Earth Observation data. This will create jobs, increase the UK share of a growing market, support world class scientific research and generate commercial revenues. The CEMS infrastructure will provide a cloud environment, allowing users to build and host applications and core framework services with access to 1.7 petabytes of key satellite data and leading edge high performance computing facilities. CEMS will also provide the essential data quality and integrity tools to give users complete confidence in, and transparency of, its data, services and products.

Barbara Ghinelli, ISIC Executive Chair, commented, "This is great news and clearly illustrates how ISIC is already leveraging private funds into the CEMS programme and ensuring maximum return on the Government's investment. The successful NSTP projects are an exciting start and an excellent example of how ISIC stimulates innovation through SME's. We are also very pleased that both large companies and SME's are already collaborating in this initial fast-track activity." Marc Gorman, Acting Operations Director at Magellium Limited, an SME on the Harwell site, commented, "Magellium opened an office in the UK in 2010 as a first step in expanding its international business. Our capability lies in the areas of image processing and algortihmics; we believe these are excellent contributions to the development of the CEMS programme. "We are delighted to be awarded this funding and look forward to working as part of ISIC to develop world class Earth Observation/Climate Change data products, applications and services."

CEMS is also designed to secure the UK's world leadership position in climate science, technology and services and to support the European Space Agency's Climate Office at Harwell, pulling together key capability from the UK (including SME's) for key opportunities such as GMES climate services.

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