ICEYE, the Finnish Earth observation company attempting to create the world’s largest synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, announced on 14 December 2018 that it has received a €10 million capital loan from Business Finland that is meant for the orchestration of Growth Engines. Business Finland is the most important public funding agency for research funding in Finland, and it is directed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The received funding is used for SAR satellite manufacturing during 2019 and for establishing the Internet of Locations ecosystem originating from Finland.
ICEYE successfully launched its second SAR satellite, ICEYE-X2, on 3 December 2018. The satellite launch is an initial step of creating the necessary SAR satellite constellation of ICEYE for frequent and reliable satellite-based information about any location on Earth. ICEYE is establishing the Internet of Locations to support vast economic growth in Finland in the various parts of generating, analyzing, and consuming satellite data for operational uses.
Providing the capability to get accurate, objective and reliable information in real time from anywhere in the world is a transformative proposition for practically every industry and government. Information that has been gained from satellite imaging can be used to help solve problems such as global illegal fishing, illegal logging, and for commercial uses such as for flood insurance related services.
“By capturing detailed imagery and analyzing these data sets, ICEYE is on the cusp of developing a global market through our radar satellite imaging capacity. Finland is uniquely positioned to capitalize on its highly competent talent and ongoing research in topics such as machine learning,” said Pekka Laurila, CSO and co-founder of ICEYE. “For a long time, there has been satellite imagery that has been too infrequent, hindered by clouds or largely unusable due to night time. ICEYE’s radar satellite constellation is solving all of these issues. As a result, we are enabling a huge range of new applications to be built on seeing into locations, reliably, multiple times per day.”
”From the perspective of Finland, ICEYE is in a unique position as a provider of satellite imagery. With the help of funding from Business Finland, ICEYE is working to create opportunities for other organisations as well in generating new industry applications from location-based information. With this ecosystem that is built around data, there’s significant potential for creating new talent and business opportunities,” says Jussi Sainiemi, Funding Director, Tesi. Tesi is one of ICEYE’s investors.
Autonomous shipping is one of the future industries that benefits from new space infrastructure. ”Companies participating in the One Sea ecosystem, ABB, Cargotec, Ericsson, Finnpilot Pilotage, Rolls-Royce Marine, Tieto and Wärtsilä, are right now developing new solutions in smart and autonomous shipping. At sea, you need frequently updated information that can be gathered with radar satellites,” says Jukka Merenluoto, Director of One Sea from DIMECC Oy.
Business Finland uses the name Growth Engine to describe cooperation networks − ecosystems − aimed at new business activities in Finland amounting to more than one billion euros. Growth Engines are implemented through an enterprise-driven partnership model between companies, research organizations and public actors, which strives to find solutions to global market disruption and create new growth sectors in Finland. With this goal in mind, the grant from Business Finland enables ICEYE to provide new space infrastructure and data solutions to the global data consumption market, and establish Finland as a world-leader in the emerging Internet of Locations.