News Staff November 23, 2018

INNOVATIVE businesses in the North East are at the forefront of a programme launched today to connect insightful data gathered from satellites and Earth-based sensors and use it to solve major problems facing businesses, governments and communities.

SAINTS – Situational Awareness Information National Technology Service – will bring together experts from business, universities and the public sector who will use artificial intelligence to combine travel, business and satellite data to come up with solutions to some of the country’s most pressing challenges – from traffic congestion to UK border security issues.

It’s been launched by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, operated by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, with the support of the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency. The programme is supported by the presence of a strong advanced manufacturing supply chain and global centres of academic and industry excellence in areas such as advanced instrumentation for space, sensors, printable electronics, graphene applications, photonics, smart data, GPS, artificial intelligence and immersive technology.

SAINTS intends to focus on problems that have an impact on the daily lives of people and seek to solve problems that they struggle with in everyday life. Together, the organisations will offer: innovation and incubation support to turn opportunities into commercial markets for new technologies and applications; skills development and outreach; and inspiration to attract partners and investment from government, business and academia.

SAINTS believes that situational awareness enables organisations to have the power to respond quickly, such as deploying emergency services to the right critical places during major incidents or following patterns of behaviour that might predict threats, like a terror attack.