The SatelLife Challenge – now in its second year – is looking for innovative proposals from young people age 11 to 22 that have the potential to use data collected from space to benefit our economy, health or the environment.

The UK Space Agency says that satellites support the economy and everyday life, and this competition gives young people the chance to test their ideas with industry experts and perhaps one day become part of the sector.

Says science minister Jo Johnson: “Satellites are shaping our society and increasingly important for our economy. Every second they send information around the world, keep shipping lanes and flightpaths clear and help us get to where we want to be.

“Young people today will be an integral part of our mission to grow the UK’s share of the global space market to 10% by 2030, as set out in our industrial strategy. We need to ensure the potential benefits of space are felt across the whole economy and encourage young British entrepreneurs to develop ideas that rival the best in the world.”

Ideas from last year’s competition ranged from solutions to help increase the survival rate of heart attack victims by using GPS trackers in fitness devices, to an app that warns people about impending natural disasters, guides them safely away and alerts emergency services.

The overall winner in 2017 was 14-year-old James Pearson from Lincolnshire, who came up with an app to provide information on coastal flood risks, went on to meet British ESA astronaut Tim Peake and is using his prize money to develop his idea.

The competition, which aims to support the development of science, data handling and technological skills, is split into three age groups, with 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. 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.

The competition closes on 25th February. Visit the SatelLife Challenge entry page for more information.

IMAGE CREDIT: Adam Offord