The winners of the first International Space Pitch Day competition were announced in London on 17 November, on the first day of the Defence Space Conference.
Marking the first time two nations (the UK and the US) have awarded defence contracts jointly from a ‘pitch’ style event – and also marking the first time joint defence innovation contracts have been awarded to overseas contractors – the competition awarded same-day contracts valued at £53,000/$66,000 (€55,500) to fast-track development of their innovative solutions, after pitching direct to British, American and NATO military leaders.
Air Vice-Marshal Smyth, UK Director Space, said of the event that “it has captured the imagination of innovators and militaries, not just across the UK and US, but all over the world […] we seek to fast-track innovation and cutting-edge technology to the front line quicker than ever before, with fresh ways of working with industry to make sure we stay ahead of our shared adversaries and the threats they pose.”
“Pitch Days open the government’s aperture to work with commercially-focused companies […] Competing for technology outside of our fence lines has been a major US Air Force and Space Force theme. Partnering with our allies to compete globally is the natural evolution […] Space is especially exciting with so many ideas brought to the table by these firms, and I’m confident international space cooperation has a bright future,” added Dr Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
The winning companies and their innovations are:
• 114 Innovation Ltd (India): Spacewise – a cognitive AI-based toolset to visualise, access and analyze multiple data streams for advanced space c2;
• Clearbox Systems Pty Ltd (Australia): AI-enabled decision support for satellite service selection, assisting in improving prioritisation and selection of satellite services;
• Clutch Space Systems Ltd (UK): Space Resources Operational Availability Tool (SROAT), enabling efficient, autonomous use of space assets for planning and operations;
• Cognitive Space, Inc. (US): Multi-level security through partitioned blockchain, extending an AI-driven cloud satellite mission planning solution to include segregated access;
• precursor SPC (US): Title: 4D Space Weather Impact Tool, improving ionospheric observation granularity and enabling space weather forecasting;
• Riskaware Ltd and Telespazio Vega UK (UK): SpaceAware Resilience, a comprehensive modelling and visualization tool aimed at supporting operations with risk and threat analysis;
• Rocket Communications (US): Space:ACME, a 4D visualization solution for space awareness, communication, and manoeuvre evaluation;
• Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. (US): Slingshot Orbital Ensemble Catalogue, an active data curation capability using machine learning to create an ensemble catalogue enabling space forces to build and maintain data trust;
• Spire Global UK (UK): Space Weather as a Service – a new ionospheric scintillation service targeted at Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), satcom and missile defence users;
• Swim.ai, Inc. (US): Real-Time Orbital Situational Awareness Platform (ROSA), analysing multiple data sources and creating digital twins of all satellites to provide real-time situational awareness.