ZASpace is the name of a new South African organisation that will, it is hoped, galvanize the country’s geospatial industry and bridge the skills deficit in this sector.
Launched in Pretoria in late November, ZASpace Inc is an inclusive community of business, government and academic institutions around the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the country’s space assets that will, the founders say, advance the South African geospatial industry.
The global geospatial information market is big business. Geospatial analysis serves industries ranging from hospitality and banking to disaster relief and infrastructure, through global satellite navigation systems, geographic information systems, spatial analysis, earth observation, and three-dimensional scanning, with the help of the growing availability of nanosatellites and microsatellites.
The African geospatial market is growing too, but there’s a skills deficit at a time when the convergence of earth observation, space navigation and positioning, and location intelligence is generating massive growth in the geospatial intelligence domain across the world. ZASpace intends to demystify space for business – developing skills and funding innovation to propel the growth of the sector across the continent.
ZASpace Inc will prioritise innovation-based funding for small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and start-ups by creating opportunities for participation by private equity, venture capital and other funding institutions.
Put simply, ZASpace aims to create a business ecosystem around SANSA, to make space resources and markets more accessible for all participants.