One giant leap for SMEs

Posted by pt91 at May 16, 2011 11:55 AM |
University of Leicester space research applied to improving company performance in the East Midlands
One giant leap for SMEs

Professor Paul Monks and Dr Valere Moutarlier at the launch of G-STEP in 2009.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 May 2011 

An ambitious and innovative project to bring the benefits of space research to local SMEs has signalled its success by working with 20 companies in the past six months alone.

G-STEP (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security – Space Technology Exchange Partnership) was set up in 2009 to ensure that the benefits of University of Leicester’s world-class Space Research, specifically Earth Observation, could be brought to practical use by small companies in the East Midlands.

Rhys Cowsill, Business Manager said: “We have been working with a number of enterprises to improve their performance and profitability.  The diversity of applications could not have been imagined when the programme began, but by allowing the user community to ‘pull’ rather than getting the scientists to ‘push,’ the range of uses for this new and exciting asset has been surprisingly wide.”

From collaborating with local SME Rock Kitchen Harris on the Police Crime Database, to assessing the likelihood of buildings’ subsidence for insurance purposes, to assisting in the monitoring of forestry, and identifying the best roofs for solar panels, the potential for collaboration is open-ended. 

Paul Monks, Director of G-STEP, added: “The sphere of precision agriculture is another area ripe for exploration and is a future aspiration for the G-STEP staff beyond the current funding stream. They are also looking to help city councils monitor their trees and open spaces and to take forward the work already in train on intelligent traffic control and air quality monitoring for the City of Leicester.  There is even a niche market in assisting SMEs to make more of their own customer databases using Geospatial Information Systems software.”

G-STEP has also set its sights on working with enterprises beyond the East Midlands. If you would like more information on the services G-STEP has to offer, including expert advice and practical help in designing bespoke solutions to your company’s problems, contact Rhys Cowsill on 0116 229 7845, Teresa Smith on 0116 229 7841 or

G-STEP is currently part financed by the ERDF, the University of Leicester and Prospect Leicestershire.

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