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Challenges for space: harnessing space technologies for the benefit of Scotland - executive summary


To identify and understand real challenges facing the Scottish public sector and key industries in Scotland which represent opportunities for the Scottish space industry to provide affordable solutions which could then be exported to similar users worldwide.


Desk research and interviews with public sector and industry bodies.


The study explored the limiting factors for effectiveness and productivity within public services and some key sectors of private industry, with a view to identifying the potential of space-based solutions to address these challenges. In particular, it sought to identify challenges where the strengths of the Scottish space sector are likely to be relevant in providing a solution. In addition, the appetite of the public sector or private sector in adopting such innovative solutions was taken into account. The challenges identified as priorities for future consideration were: inefficient allocation of field staff and volunteers to field work; inputs into optimal siting of construction projects; slow, unreliable, or unavailable digital connectivity particularly in remote areas; need for climate-conscious use of resources and monitoring natural capital; lack of internal data analysis expertise – to interpret, for example, freely available satellite data; and need for improved monitoring of visitor movements and impacts for sustainable tourism. The Scottish space sector could make a contribution to addressing the above areas though, in most cases, as part of a broader solution.


The study suggested possible routes forward could include challenge funding to encourage solutions to be developed for particular needs, providing resources to help match challenges with potential suppliers and improving dissemination of information on new grants and funding opportunities.

Author London Economics
Published Year 2022
Report Type Research