Young people with bright ideas of how satellites can be used to improve life on earth can win a share of a £50,000 pot from the Swindon-based UK Space Agency

The SatelLife Competition, now in its fourth year, is looking for innovative proposals that could use data collected from space to benefit daily life, such as growing new businesses, improving health services or tackling climate change.

Student Ieuan Higgs, 20, from Chippenham, won £7,500 in 2018 for his suggestion to map changes in urban areas using satellites. He has since graduated from university and is now working in the space sector.

Other winning ideas from last year’s competition included tracking abandoned shopping trolleys, fighting crime with drones and designing a mobile app to locate public toilets.

Space agency head of applications Emily Gravestock said: “The UK is a world leader in building satellites and has a thriving space sector. The use of data from space can solve many of the challenges we face on Earth.

“We’ve seen in previous years that Wiltshire has plenty of talented young people with fantastic ideas, so I’d urge anyone thinking about entering to give it a go. We would love to as many entries as possible from the home of the UK Space Agency.”

Satellites support the economy and everyday life and the competition gives young people the chance to test their ideas with space experts and perhaps one day become part of one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. The UK space sector already supports 42,000 jobs and could create a further 30,000 opportunities in the next decade.

The contest, open to those aged 11 to 22 and split into three age groups, aims to support the development of science, data handling and technological skills.

The judging panel will be made up of experts including industry representatives and the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency.

Winners will go on to pitch their ideas to a panel of ‘dragons’ at the Harwell Space Cluster on 16 June for the chance to win further prizes including further funding, patent advice and invitations to discuss job opportunities as well as introductions to the other relevant experts for further help.

The competition closes on 3 March 2020. Enter here.