UKCloud Limited (“UKC”) and Virtual Infrastructure Group Limited (“VIG”) (together “the Companies”) – in Compulsory Liquidation

On 25 October 2022, the Companies were placed into Liquidation with the Official Receiver appointed as Liquidator and J Robinson and A M Hudson simultaneously appointed as Special Managers to manage the liquidation process on behalf of the Official Receiver.

Further information regarding the Liquidations can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/virtual-infrastructure-group-limited-and-ukcloud-limited-information-for-creditors-and-interested-parties

Contact details:
For any general queries relating to the Liquidations please email ukcloud@uk.ey.com
For customer related queries please email ukcloudcustomers@uk.ey.com
For supplier related queries please email ukcloudsuppliers@uk.ey.com

Realising value from space investment

Steve Russell, Head of Data Practice at UKCloud talks about how we should be using the opportunities of data processing in space to solve real problems on earth.

We’ve collected a vast amount of data about our Earth using Space – both by observing ourselves from it and by visiting it. So far, we’re yet to exploit this trove of data to solve the problems we face on our planet. However, by removing barriers to entry, we could break this unproductive cycle.

 

Investment vs outcome

Investment in the Space industry is significant and is justified by those that spend it as bringing understanding and betterment to society. However, put simply, most effort goes into getting into space and collecting data rather than the downstream delivery of such societal outcomes. This imbalance is recognised by UK Space Agency, Space Park Leicester and other UKCloud partners, but why is this so?

Organisations face barriers when building commercial businesses or carrying out research to leveraging space data. The volume and size of good space data is large and may be aggregated with many other sources and kinds of data to be meaningful. Building an environment out of the constituent parts of an analytics platform is both a costly and skills heavy task. There are also many elements in a data value framework that require enabling technologies and skills to service them.

And all this is before the organisation considers the compliance ramifications of collecting, sharing and exchanging data with other parties – be it national, competitive or personal security, sensitivity or sovereignty. What then can be done?

In the past, data scientists were encouraged to bring data together in warehouses and lakes in order to provide a basis for their machine learning and AI. One way we may overcome barriers is for data sources to remain where they are, surfacing their value through a ‘fabric’, exposing only elements of the data for which consent has been given and for the intended purpose. This reduces cost of migration, avoids creation of secondary data stores and focuses spend on the outcome.

Bringing only required datasets for a specific ‘pipeline’ through a fabric (or ‘dataspace’) in this way enables data analytics programmes to build their data science libraries pipeline by pipeline, informing development and building confidence for investment in further outcomes.

Space enables us to see and analyse the world, generating data that needs refining to build knowledge and improve decision making. Earth observation has shown us how to identify food, water and shelter and investigate their inter-relational problems. Through machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), we can see and predict more clearly where issues exist, but also predict where they will occur in the future. Careful data aggregation and analytics can inform decision making and timely interdiction, delivering that vital societal advantage.

 

Space data and analytics

At Space-Comm Expo 2022, UKCloud was able to demonstrate this advantage, in partnership with Space Park Leicester and our Agritech partner SAWIE, by developing a ‘Proof of Concept’ application that enables farmers (and potentially many others) to predict the health of their crops and be given timely advice. The feedback the farmers and others provide through mobile devices creates a feedback loop and constant updated land ‘picture’ that validates and lends veracity to the picture from space.

A 10% loss in risk areas may exceed a $5.8bn cost, due to 37% of global wheat originating from these areas.

Data at the edge

Space-Comm was also an excellent forum for debating how data processing at the extreme edge can assist experiments on board the ISS, to help shape missions to Mars and therefore the eventual colonisation of the Red Planet. Nick Cooke-Priest, UKCloud EVP for Maritime and Space, chaired a session with eminent experts from Space Park Leicester, HPE, UKSA, VMware and the Impact Laboratory Rothamsted (ILR) all contributing to a fascinating and enlightening panel.  Khalid Mahmood (ILR) clearly articulated that earth observation and data analytics offer humanity an immense opportunity to assist the 4.5 million farmers globally through timely and accurate information. Ben Bennett (HPE) moved the debate towards space data volume and timeliness, stating that edge processing is essential, particularly as we move further from Planet Earth towards Mars. He also informed us of the rich source of much needed minerals and ores that exist in the Asteroid Belt and thus why staging on Mars is so important for recovering and utilising these precious and very highly priced commodities.

Richard Ambrosi (SPL) then went on to describe the challenges of existing in space related to power and complex engineering requirements, before Joe Baguley (VMware) articulated, how given the nature of the challenge, a different set of software requirements and a new generation of coders would be needed.

Meaning…

In the end, the key takeaway from the experts and our research is that space generates huge volumes of data that needs to be stored, analysed and utilised in situ. This data has required monumental investment to bring it back to Earth. UKCloud and our partners are now successfully on the path to enable the learnings and nuances from space data to be exchanged, delivering meaningful outcomes on this Blue-green Planet!