Space is not extraordinary
The conquest of space is no longer just an expensive exclusivity of superpowers or big corporations, but space technology has become accessible to every human being. Most of us already use data from satellites orbiting the earth on our smartphones or navigators. Satellite signals are also used in, for example, television broadcasting, agriculture and forestry, fishing, nature conservation, logistics, energy transmission and the fire and rescue sector.
New space – new possibility for Kvarken region
The Kvarken Space Economy, led by the University of Vaasa, is a project that aims to create an innovation ecosystem in the Kvarken region, which will enable the region to utilize space-based data. The project, funded by the European Union's Regional Development Fund through the Botnia Atlantica Interreg program, is being implemented in cooperation between 10 universities and research institutes on both sides of the Kvarken.
“With this project, we want to put the Ostrobothnian provinces and Västerbotten, Sweden, at the forefront of the new space economy. We are creating an innovation center, the Kvarken Space Center, in the region. It will distribute and process space-based data which can be utilized by citizens, companies, educational institutions and other actors in the area”, says project leader Professor Heidi Kuusniemi, one of the Finnish pioneers in satellite navigation.
In addition to the space center promoting innovation, the project will launch its own small satellite into space and build a satellite data receiving ground station on the Palosaari campus as well as an open portal for processing and sharing space information.
To help with business
The project will help companies in the region develop new business opportunities by leveraging the information available from space. To this end, Kvarken Space Economy is looking for companies in both the Old Vaasa County and Västerbotten areas that are interested in utilizing that information.
In addition to companies, another important target group is schoolchildren and students. During the project, various workshops will be organized for both target groups to get them acquainted with space, satellites, the information obtained from them and its utilization.
“We want to bring space closer to the inhabitants of the area. Some of that work is satellite images of the Kvarken region, which are published once a month in Mega magazine and on our website”, says Kendall Rutledge, project manager at the Yrkeshögskolan Novia and the University of Vaasa.