This initiative, which will be carried out through the Public Procurement of Innovation, will allow significant advances in emergency deployment, firefighting or environmental management

The Department of University, Research and Innovation has increased to 20 million the amount allocated to the ‘Space Innova Andalucía’ program, which seeks to identify innovative solutions in the space sector for their application in other areas of activity related to the deployment of emergencies, fighting fires, environmental management or statistical and cartographic analysis. This initiative will be carried out through the Public Procurement of Innovation (CPI) formula, which is a novel contracting system with which the Administration aims to satisfy a need for advanced services and products not yet available in the market, promoting responses from the private initiative. This will therefore reinforce public-private collaboration.

‘Space Innova Andalucía’ had initially been assigned a budget of ten million euros, but the regional Executive has decided to double this amount after evaluating the scope of the proposals received to respond to the challenges set by this line of work, of which a preliminary consultation has already been launched to the market to gather innovative responses from the business field and the knowledge system. To this preliminary consultation, 17 proposals for the development of space technology have been presented that contemplate partial or global alternatives to the required needs. Many of the developments contemplated are pioneers in the national and international context and include different pseudo-satellite solutions for Earth observation, multi-sensor monitoring systems, new computing, communication and data processing systems on board or artificial intelligence tools for management advanced data and incident prediction.

The University Department has carried out an analysis of the projects and has extracted the technologies that could have a better adjustment to the set challenges, estimating the budget for all of them at 32 million. In order to be able to achieve this financing and deploy the ‘Space Innova’ in its entirety, the regional Executive has decided to look for alternative resources through other means such as the Demand-Based Innovation Promotion Line (FID Line) for Public Procurement of Innovation, which is funded by FEDER Funds and is coordinated through the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

The objective of the regional government is to be able to begin launching tenders for the selected technological solutions once this line of community incentives is resolved; that is, from the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025.

Four challenges

In the ‘Space Innova Andalucía’ program, the University Department has worked together with the different departments of the Region Administration, prioritizing those needs that best fit the purpose of this initiative. Two of them are characterized by the Department of the Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification, and are related to the deployment of emergencies and the fight against fires. The third focuses on environmental management and belongs to the Department of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy, and the fourth, related to the statistical and cartographic system of Andalusia, has been requested by the Department of Economy, Finance and European Funds.

The first approach launched aims to improve instrumentation for real-time monitoring of parameters directly associated with emergencies. This challenge will make it possible to monitor the evaluation of an incident for an optimal allocation of resources and to have the necessary communication systems to achieve full interoperability. The second area of work demands a system that continuously monitors a certain area in which a forest fire is located, providing in real time and simultaneously multiple flows of information of great added value for planning and decision making.

The third need proposes solutions for Earth observation at very high resolution as support for environmental management, which depends, to a large extent, on technologies capable of recognizing and analyzing the territory to evaluate phenomena subject to intense changes or inventory the existence of ecosystems and land uses. It also aims to have a database of the physical-natural environment that enables preventive actions, risk assessment or planning of standard instruments.tives and programming.

The fourth challenge proposes the design of a solution to obtain high-precision positioning in the Andalusian territory. This seeks to correct the measurements obtained from positioning satellites at a centimeter level or lower, thus favoring their use in areas as varied as precision agriculture, topographic applications, construction planning, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) management. ) or the promotion of autonomous vehicles.

In addition to this line, the University Department will help the aerospace segment with another ten million euros to achieve aircraft that contribute to reducing noise and greenhouse gas emissions within the framework of the ‘Clean Aviation’ program. With these incentives, the Junta de Andalucía intends to promote the development of sustainable aviation technologies, one of the core objectives that this productive segment aims for not only at the regional level, but on the international scene as a whole. The University Department is currently developing the regulatory bases for this line of incentives.

Promote the aerospace sector

With the promotion of these two initiatives, the University Department’s purpose, in addition to responding through innovation to the needs that have arisen in the field of public services management, is to promote the development of the aerospace sector, considered strategic for being a undisputed engine of growth and competitiveness of the productive fabric. For the regional government, this is a segment of great relevance due to its specific weight in the entire production, due to the traction it exerts on the innovative ecosystem and other areas, due to its transformative role in the economy and the labor market and, especially, due to its ability to reinvest a large part of its profits in R&D&I actions. Likewise, this economic activity acts transversally, providing services of various kinds, in areas related to transportation, logistics, security, environment, disaster prevention, communications or defense, etc.

In Andalusia, the aerospace industry contributes 1.24% to the regional GDP and 9.19% to the industrial GDP and leads the export rankings. The total turnover of this sector in 2022 remained above 2,000 million euros, generating approximately 13,136 jobs.

In order to support its technological and innovative development, the Department of University, Research and Innovation is finalizing the Plan for the Promotion of Aerospace Innovation, which will be developed within the framework of the Aerospace Strategy of Andalusia, the main planning instrument, execution, development, monitoring and evaluation of public actions carried out in the matter.