SatelLife Competition returns with £50,000 in prize money

The UK Space Agency’s SatelLife Competition is returning for a third year, with £50,000 in total prize funds up for grabs.

(Credit: Pixabay)

Set up to explore how satellites could be better used to improve life on Earth, the competition is split into three age groups (11-14, 15-18, 19-22), and aims to support the development of science, data handling and technological skills. Ideas from last year’s competition included a wristband that uses satellite location data and communications services to identify the locations of swimmers and surfers in the sea.

“Entering the SatelLife Competition allowed me to develop my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in an interesting, challenging way,” said last year’s winner Ieuan Higgs, 21, a student at Reading University who has since been offered a job in the space sector. Ieuan proposed a tool that could map change in urban areas using satellites and algorithms, identifying where building is taking place and potential sites for development.

“This has certainly helped me to push forwards on my way towards finishing university and provided me with the confidence to pursue my interests as I prepare to launch an exciting career,” he added.

There are two overall prizes of £7,500 for the best individual and best team. A further seven entries from across the age categories will win £5,000, making a total prize fund of £50,000. Entries can be as teams or individuals and all prize winners will be able to pitch their idea to a panel of ‘dragons’ from the space sector who will offer more prizes. The judging panel will be made up of experts including representatives from the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency, the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell and industry.

“Young people are bursting with ingenious ideas and this competition offers a great opportunity for their suggestions about how best to use data collected from satellites,” said science minister Chris Skidmore

“I would urge young people to get involved and hopefully their ideas will become a reality in the near future, benefiting us all. The competition is a great example of how the government’s modern Industrial Strategy can inspire and engage young people in the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

The competition closes on 3 March 2019. Visit the SatelLife Competition entry page for more information and to apply.