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SANSA And DigitalGlobe Launch South Africa Earth Observation Challenge

Dr. Val Munsami, Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Photograph courtesy of SANSA.

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is teaming up with leading U.S. commercial satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe to launch the South Africa Earth Observation Challenge that will seek innovative satellite applications idas from South African startups.

SANSA and DigitalGlobe believe there is significant scope to increase the use of earth observation applications in both the public and private sphere within South Africa. Through this project challenge, SANSA and DigitalGlobe are looking for novel uses of earth observation data gathered by satellite.

According to its website, the Challenge seeks “passionate participants who can leverage DigitalGlobe and SANSA resources to build geospatial solutions supporting these initiatives.”

Participating teams will then have two months to “transform Earth imagery into meaningful context and actionable insight for sustainable global development, business growth, and geospatial intelligence,” the website continues.

The mission of SANSA Earth Observation is to drive and coordinate South Africa’s Earth observation efforts to sustainably benefit all South Africans in an earth-friendly manner. Its objective is to collect, assimilate, and disseminate Earth observation data to support South Africa’s policy-making, decision-making, economic growth and sustainable development initiatives.

Challenge submissions should be connected to themes in alignment with the United Nations  Sustainable Development Goals, such as sustainable cities and communities, understanding the impact of climate change, food security, etc.

“This is a unique opportunity for innovative individuals and organizations to play a major role in how we measure and evaluate progress and inform the path to get to food security, good health, environmental sustainability, resilient communities, and universal human rights,” the agency said.

Qualifying submissions will receive free access to GBDX Notebooks to develop and run their projects, access to business development training and mentorship, facilitated introductions to key decision makers with potential clients, partners and investors, potential access to global markets through DigitalGlobe, and ongoing incubation and acceleration support for space industry entrepreneurs.

The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2018. The jury will review the entries and select the five winning projects, to be announced between 5 November and 7 December 2018.


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