Our city has had the pleasure of hosting the past two NZ Space and NZ Aerospace Challenges, and I have to say I was enthralled when I heard the finalists making their presentations on both occasions. Not only do we have incredible capacity here in Aotearoa, it is clear that our future is in very good hands.
This year’s challenge has scaled to include Australia and the Pacific Islands; and brings a focus onto leveraging space technology to address climate change, which is vital for our region.
As the website says, we have unprecedented access to satellite remote sensing data and technologies that can help us better detect, monitor and measure these changes. The computational capability to analyse this data today is critical in making better management decisions and creating policies to reverse the damage caused to the Planet.
The purpose of the challenge is to enable a broader range of researchers and innovators to take up these tools and help find the solutions we need.
There is an incredible alignment with our council’s strategic priorities, especially building climate resilience and the supernodes including Aerospace and Future Transport, where our vision is to position our city and region as the leading place to easily design, build and test cutting edge technology.
This challenge has a focus on innovation and rapid prototyping, which is a key strength of our city of talented engineers and advanced manufacturers; and brings together students and innovators to create tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems.
When I look at what is happening in our city, including showcasing how small satellite technology is helping democratise access to space, as well as growing businesses and jobs, and we see exponential advances in traditional technology like imagery collection, I know we are the city of the future.
So there really is no better place to launch the Space for Planet Earth Challenge than right here.