22 February 2017: Inmarsat has been awarded UK Space Agency (UKSA) grant funding, to develop satellite application programmes that address pressing social concerns in three key emerging markets.
The announcement follows in the wake of four successful UKSA International Partnership Space Programme (ISPS) initiatives that Inmarsat undertook in 2015, including two live pilots in Sub-Saharan Africa: maternal healthcare in Nigeria and access to financial services in Kenya.
From the learnings of these projects, Inmarsat has been able to identify new opportunities to showcase the capabilities and potential role of satellite to help communities in need.
In Nigeria, Inmarsat’s BGAN service will be used to support the government’s e-Health requirements to extend the reach of basic medical services into remote parts of the country.
The aim of the programme is to raise the standard of Nigerian healthcare outcomes in poorer communities.
Initially operating in 84 sites throughout the country, the ultimate goal is to promote welfare and economic development via video-based health worker training, health system management and governance, and improved disease surveillance.
A humanitarian programme has been developed to support disaster relief in the Philippines, a country which is affected by 20 cyclones every year, at a devastating cost to human life and the economy.
Training on the easy and rapid deployment of Global Xpress terminals will be provided by Inmarsat to enable the country to quickly restore communications and coordinate relief efforts within 24 hours of a disaster.
In Indonesia, smart satellite technology solutions will be optimised to promote inclusive and sustainable fishing practices. The fishing sector is a critical driver of the Indonesian economy and supports millions of household, including seven million fishers.
Working closely with the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Republic of Indonesia (KKP), the programme will adopt Vessel Monitoring Systems to ensure responsible, sustainable fishing and to police conservation areas to prevent illegal fishing.
By connecting fishing vessels, the social welfare of the fishers will also be addressed. Satellite connectivity will enable vital safety at sea services, contact with home when at sea for weeks at a time and the ability to access real-time data to obtain the latest fishing reports.
“Inmarsat is committed to understanding the requirements of our international partner countries to ensure that important benefits can be seen on the ground, in their time of need,” said James Cemmell, Director, Strategic Impact Partnerships, Inmarsat Enterprise.
“Our mission is truly ground-breaking for the satellite sector and delivers tangible impact on the communities we’re working with. The UK government-supported development projects will make the best use of our technology to deliver maximum social impact.”
An expert high-level advisory board has been created to coordinate the projects. Chaired by Pat McDougal, Senior Advisor, Inmarsat, the board’s membership is comprised of senior executives from: the Satellite Applications Catapult, social impact funds, international development organisations and strategy advisors.