International Space Pitch Day was launched yesterday by UK Director Space Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth. International Space Pitch Day is a joint UK-US initiative that aims to find, fund and fast-track innovation and technology that gives an advantage to military personnel and operations in the space domain.
The competition is open to innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world delivered through the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), assisted by Starburst Accelerator. The endeavour is jointly funded by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Royal Air Force and the US Air Force.
It is specifically designed to bolster tech start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and harness the power of their ingenuity and innovation. The competition will see organisations receive specialist mentoring and training in the hope of securing a coveted place at the first International Space Pitch Day in front of senior UK, US and NATO military leaders at the Defence Space Conference in London in November 2020.
Those organisations who make it through to the International Space Pitch Day will be in contention to secure a $66,000 (£53,000) contract from the judging panel to speed up their innovations and technology. The format will be the first of its kind in an international collaboration between two international allies.
UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:
“Opportunities like International Space Pitch Day demonstrate our determination to modernise the way we work, whilst providing our brilliant innovators with the investment and support they need. This collaborative event will allow us to identify and accelerate the newest technologies, and remain competitive against our adversaries”.
Director Space Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth said:
“International Space Pitch Day is a world-leading joint initiative by the closest of allies and we are excited by the huge opportunities this could bring to our respective nations, our alliances, and our space and tech industries. This is all about fast-tracking innovation and cutting-edge technology to the front line quicker than ever before, and fresh ways of working with industry to make sure we stay ahead of our shared adversaries and the threats they pose. I look forward to judging the finalists at the Defence Space Conference in November”.
A grand coalition of Dstl, DASA, Royal Air Force, UK Strategic Command, the US Air Force, US Space Force, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has been assembled to find, fund, and fast-track the best ideas from start-up innovators to the front line.
Starburst Aerospace will act as an industry partner to the International Space Pitch Day and carry out specialist training and mentoring on its behalf through an Allied Defence Accelerator.
This year’s competition is seeking solutions to six challenges set by the UK and US Space teams:
- Visualisation of key events and information for combined space operations with allies and commercial partners.
- Understanding current satellite systems relevant to the operations of a particular commander.
- Understanding the present and potential impact of space weather on users across all domains.
- Provision of training against realistic threats and opportunities, incorporating live data, and integrating space across multiple domains.
- Enabling common and user-defined operational pictures to support multi-national space domain awareness and command and control.
- A verification and comparison tool for Space domain awareness, which can take orbital observation data from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats and produce a single, reliable operational picture.
Compulsory registration questions for the International Space Pitch Day and the Allied Defence Accelerator must be submitted by midday BST on Wednesday, 19 August 2020.
International Space Pitch Day 2020 proposals must be submitted by midday BST on Wednesday 2 September 2020.