Coronavirus: Space science gives new lease of life to Shropshire businesses
Shropshire Council and a leading space technology company have joined forces to create a new way to get life-saving supplies to the frontline of health and social care.
The trial project will use up-to-the-minute data science to give care providers a chance in real time to find local suppliers for important kit such as medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning products.
It will also encourage local businesses, who may struggle to deal with a predicted economic downturn, to diversify into new lines of work.
At the height of the coronavirus crisis councils and care home owners were struggling to source everything from PPE to replacement staff to deal urgently with the worst public health emergency in several generations.
The coronavirus crisis has exposed weaknesses and gaps in the health and social care supply chain, says Stevenson Astrosat Limited, which is providing the data and technological knowhow to help the council mitigate such a crisis in the future.
Working with the council and local care providers, Astrosat will pinpoint and map sources of supplies to support scores of care providers across the county.
This data will be matched with a database of suppliers who have signed up to provide a range of services to the public and private care market.
Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s interim chief executive, said:
“We have managed to get through these last few difficult months, but it just can’t be sensible for organisations across the UK to be chasing the same supplies from a small number of existing suppliers.
“Working with Astrosat we can build a local market for equipment and services and give a much-needed boost to our own local economy.
“We hope it will encourage businesses to think imaginatively about how they can adapt their systems and processes to produce new kinds of products for an emerging market.
“Why shouldn’t a factory owner with the right spec be making hand sanitiser or medical equipment?”
Suppliers who want to get involved can register now for free on a dedicated website at mysupplylynk.net.
The list of products and services in demand include PPE, medical equipment and aids, cleaning products, food, clothing, stationery and staffing.
If the trial is successful, the approach will be rolled out permanently across Shropshire, to the wider West Midlands and possibly nationally.
Arun Arumugam, Head of Sales at Stevenson Astrosat Limited, added:
“It seems to us that this is a win-win for all involved.
“Data and technology have so much power to transform lives and help businesses in Shropshire grow and prosper.
“For us this is a really satisfying way to use our expertise and make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Astrosat is a leading Earth Observation (EO) company in Scotlan, and is skilled in delivering complex, sophisticated and technically demanding EO projects in the UK and internationally.
Astrosat’s skills lie in the design and development of complex solutions using space and ground data and applying cutting-edge techniques in data science coupled with machine learning and AI using state-of-the-art technology and resources from IBM.
For more information about the company go to https://www.astrosat.space/