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Space technology agreement set to advance tertiary education in Aotearoa

By Makayla Wallace-Tidd, Communications Coordinator, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry for Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and Maxar Technologies will assist in boosting innovation in Aotearoa.
Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies.

A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry for Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and Maxar Technologies will assist in boosting innovation in Aotearoa. Maxar Technologies is a global space and data analytics company headquartered in the United States.

The MOU will increase collaboration between the two organisations, providing access to advanced Earth observation satellites and data analytics, space technologies, and partnerships for science-technology-engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programmes.

The first project between MBIE and Maxar, TakiWaehere – The Geospatial Hackathon, will take place over the weekend of 17-18 April 2021.

New Zealand University students will be given access to high-res imagery of Earth from the past 20 years. This will allow the students to gain real-world knowledge and analyse the problems that Earth is facing today.

The goal of this project is to inspire their innovative minds to develop new solutions to these complex issues.

MBIE General Manager of Science, Innovation, and International, and Head of the New Zealand Space Agency, Dr. Peter Crabtree says, “This will provide an intellectual challenge for students and we hope it will help boost entrepreneurial ideas.”

MBIE hopes that ongoing collaboration with Maxar Technologies will allow Aotearoa to develop new ideas to “better position” ourselves to address pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. It will also provide important opportunities for New Zealand organisations to partner with a top innovator in space technology.

This is just one of many international and domestic partnerships that MBIE is a part of. They are aiming to consistently grow their number of partnerships to support Aotearoa’s developing innovation sector.

New Zealand University students can register by 26 March for TakiWaehere
– The Geospatial Hackathon here.