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University students to benefit from space tech agreement

Press Release – Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
New Zealand universities will be the first to benefit from a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and global space and data analytics company Maxar Technologies.

Maxar and MBIE have agreed on potential areas of collaboration, including use of advanced Earth observation satellites and data analytics, space technologies and science-technology-engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programmes.

The MOU was signed virtually today from MBIE in Wellington and Maxar Technologies at their headquarters in Westminster, Colorado, USA.

MBIE General Manager of Science, Innovation and International, and Head of the New Zealand Space Agency, Dr Peter Crabtree, says the MOU with Maxar is an excellent example of the work of MBIE’s Innovative Partnerships Programme and New Zealand Space Agency in forging partnerships with world-leading firms that can help drive innovation in New Zealand.

“Maxar Technologies is a trusted partner and has a history of providing timely, high-resolution satellite imagery to the New Zealand government, and establishing an MOU is an important step in enabling collaboration between our organisations.

“This agreement will provide important opportunities for New Zealand organisations to partner with a top innovator in Earth observation and Space Infrastructure,” says Peter Crabtree.

“Maxar is thrilled to embark on this partnership with New Zealand, one of the United States’ most trusted allies,” said Dan Jablonsky, Maxar CEO. “Collaborations such as this have vast potential to foster long-term partnerships, accelerate technology development and cultivate the workforce of tomorrow.”

The first project between MBIE and Maxar, TakiWaehere – The Geospatial Hackathon, will take place over the weekend of 17-18 April 2021. Maxar will grant New Zealand university students access to portions of its vast imagery archive of high-resolution Earth observation data, which includes full coverage over New Zealand dating back almost 20 years. Access to this data will enable the students to learn from and analyse economic, health and environmental challenges, and create innovative solutions to real world cases.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the first of several projects with Maxar, and to further collaboration that will better position New Zealand to address its economic, social and environmental challenges,” says Peter Crabtree.

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