The Situational Awareness Information National Technology Service (SAINTS) has launched in North East England by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence. This is operated by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, with the support of the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency.
SAINTS aims to connect insightful data gathered from satellites and Earth-based sensors and use it to solve major problems facing businesses, governments and communities. The programme will use artificial intelligence to combine travel, business and satellite data to solve some of the country’s most pressing challenges – from traffic congestion to UK border security issues.
SAINTS believes that situational awareness enables organisations to have the power to respond quickly, such as deploying emergency services to the right critical places during major incidents or following patterns of behaviour that might predict threats, like a terror attack.
Catherine Johns, innovation director at Business Durham, which manages the North East Centre of Excellence, said: “The democratisation of data ‘from space’ and ‘of space’ is a game-changer for further space and Earth operations. SAINTS will act as a rallying point to work together and capitalise on the tremendous capabilities that we have across the North East and the UK as a whole to provide solutions to the entrenched societal challenges around health, transport and social mobility that business as usual will not fix.”
Dr Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “The launch of SAINTS is a welcome development for the UK space industry and a signal of the ambition of the North East’s fast-growing space sector. The UK Space Agency funds business incubators in more than 20 locations to support start-ups across the country, and it is great to see new programmes that can help the UK thrive in the commercial space age.”
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “I’m excited to see SAINTS accelerate the development of the next generation of situational awareness technology and its applications to help solve real-world problems. This programme will benefit the economy locally and nationally, and increase the attractiveness of the UK as a hub for new commercial space services.”