HARWELL, UK, July 24, 2019 /CNW/ - exactEarth Europe Limited (eEE), a UK subsidiary of exactEarth Ltd (TSX:XCT), the leading provider of Satellite AIS data services, has been awarded an initial £370,000 grant extension from the UK Space Agency as the result of a competitive process for expanding existing projects under its 'International Partnership Programme' (IPP). A further £160,000 is expected to be awarded over the following two financial years to make a total grant of £530,000. This additional IPP funding will support the operational deployment of eEE's Satellite AIS-based small vessel tracking technology exactTraxTM to improve safety of life for Madagascar's small boat owners and operators, as well as enhance maritime security and fisheries management in the region. As such, eEE will be working closely on the project with the Madagascan 'Centre de Fusion d'Informations Maritimes' (CFIM), L'Agence Portuaire, Maritime et Fluviale (APMF), L'Autorité de Régulation des Technologies de Communication (ARTEC), Le Commandement des Forces Navales (COFONA) and Le Centre de Surveillance des Pêches (CSP).
The UK Space Agency's IPP has awarded this grant extension to maximise the impact of the initial service trials in Madagascar carried out on eEE's original OASIS-TU IPP project. Small vessels in the fisheries, workboat and recreational sectors in Madagascar typically operate without a tracking system onboard, making it difficult for (i) the authorities to locate them if they are involved in an accident at sea; (ii) to manage national small-scale fisheries; or (iii) to improve regional maritime domain awareness.
Under this two-year project, 'Madagascar Tracking Initiative for Small Vessels - Operational Take-Up' (MSIS-TU), Madagascar's small motorised boat population will be operationally equipped with exactTrax-enabled AIS transponders. Position reports (and alerts in the case of SOS situations) from these vessels will be provided as standard AIS messages for integration into the maritime domain awareness and Search and Rescue (SaR) systems being established by the APMF, COFONA and CSP. To assist with the roll-out of the project, eEE is partnering with the South African company, Stone Three Venture Technology, and the Madagascan company, Ibonia. Stone Three will manufacture the required exactTrax 'AngelFish' AIS transponders, and Ibonia will provide local deployment and long-term service support.
"We are delighted to have been awarded this additional uplift under the IPP," said Richard Proud, MD of exactEarth Europe Limited. "Small boats, particularly those involved in the fishing industry, have proven difficult for authorities to monitor, and being able to expand our orignal IPP trials into an operational service in Madagascar speaks to the growing adoption and viability of our exactTrax small vessel tracking solution."
The IPP is a £30 million a year programme run by the UK Space Agency. The IPP focuses strongly on using the UK space sector's research and innovation strengths to deliver a sustainable economic or societal benefit to emerging and developing economies around the world.
Athene Gadsby, the IPP Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, commented: "Following the success of the exactTrax OASIS-TU IPP project in South Africa and other African countries, the UK Space Agency will now support the operational deployment of the exactTrax service in Madagascar, leading to improved maritime safety, management and security in the region."
About exactEarth Ltd.
exactEarth is a leading provider of global maritime vessel data for ship tracking and maritime situational awareness solutions. Since its formation in 2009, exactEarth has pioneered a powerful new method of maritime surveillance called Satellite AIS and has delivered to its clients a view of maritime behaviours across all regions of the world's oceans unrestricted by terrestrial limitations. exactEarth's second-generation constellation, exactView RT, securely relays satellite-detected AIS vessel signals from any location on the earth's surface to the ground in seconds – thus enabling global real-time vessel tracking. This unique capability consists of 58 advanced satellite payloads designed and built by Harris Corporation under agreement with exactEarth and that are hosted onboard the Iridium NEXT constellation of satellites. www.exactearth.com
About the UK Space Agency
The UK Space Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and lies at the heart of UK efforts to exploit and benefit from investment in space technologies and satellite applications. The UK Space Agency leads on the UK civil space policy and administers the majority of space programme funding from across Government, the Research Councils and Innovate UK.
The IPP is part of, and is funded from, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.
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SOURCE exactEarth Ltd.