Hawa Dawa secures European Space Agency funding to pave the way for satellite-powered, dynamic and AI-based air quality models

Hawa Dawa has been granted further support by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the work in the satellite data downscaling space, bringing greater transparency to urban air pollution monitoring and management. The Hawa Dawa team is currently mid-way through a successful, fully funded project to help demo, refine and identify new customers in the areas of traffic management, urban planning and healthcare for satellite-enhanced advanced air quality modelling and prognosis services. The current initiative builds on work initiated via support and funding from the ESA-BIC Bavaria program with an additional focus on business and social impact applications.

Hawa Dawa’s work on integrating satellite-derived data on air quality into its modelling work enhances the base technology for a suite of tools for city operators, traffic and public health managers and planners to help them better understand and mitigate the effects of air pollution on communities, urban infrastructure and the environment. The system uses state-of-the-art data sources and modelling techniques on the input side and easy-to-use, solution-driven tools on the output side. Giving decision-makers access to such a tool is a powerful step forward in addressing the impact of polluted air in an efficient and fact-driven way.

An often overlooked social injustice in cities and their surrounding areas can be detected via our monitoring and analyses: the less healthy and less well-off population in the inner city tends to suffer from poor air while the more healthy and better-off population is often based further out, in the suburbs or neighbouring smaller towns where air pollution is minimal. Air pollution has become one of the most important but avoidable risks to health globally. Thus, Hawa Dawa’s work aims to put the most advanced ESA satellite technology to work towards solving this challenge with concrete human-centric services and economically attractive solutions.

One of the biggest barriers in solving the air quality and climate crises today is the mismatch in scale between the problem and the individual solutions focused at trying to tackle them. Dealing with issues as huge as social injustice and environmental risk doesn’t always require a macro approach. However, impact and purpose-driven companies can address the root of some of these socio-economic externalities by starting small. The use of AI to dynamically predict values between known points in a space- and time sense in combination with global satellite coverage and ground-based sensor networks, actually enables Hawa Dawa to address this problem at a global scale. “The team’s diverse and interdisciplinary background in epidemiology, eco-climatology, traffic engineering, climate policy and entrepreneurship in a team size fitting into one meeting room combined with ESA’s cutting-edge technology in space has helped us make major leaps in developing a scalable, needs-oriented software that is easily adaptable to different applications. We are thankful for the support received from ESA & via the ESA-BIC programme in achieving our mission to push environmental data into the mainstream of decision-making,” said Karim Tarraf, Co-Founder and CEO of Hawa Dawa.

About ESA Kickstart

ESA’s “Kick-start Activity” is a new funding scheme launched in 2017. It is designated to enable companies to undertake compact Feasibility Studies that explore new service and application concepts which make use of space capabilities. Successful Kick-start Activities can be further developed into commercially-viable businesses with follow-up support from ESA Business Applications in the form of a Demonstration Project. https://business.esa.int/news/kick-start-activities-new-funding-opportunity-for-innovative-applications-ideas

About ESA Business Incubation Center (BIC), Bavaria

ESA BIC Bavaria promoted pioneering companies in recent years with disruptive products and digital businesses in areas like robotics, mobile, mobility, automotive, aviation, satellites etc. ESA BIC Bavaria is one of the most successful incubation programs in Europe. Established 2002 in Bavaria as the first European space incubator, AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen has been managing ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Bavaria since 2009 with financial support from the Bavarian Ministry of Economics and its first-class partners: European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Airbus, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and KSK München Starnberg Ebersberg. ESA BIC Bavaria is part of the Europe-wide network with 18 ESA Business Incubation Centres. At the three Bavarian locations, Oberpfaffenhofen, Ottobrunn and Nuremberg, startups highly benefit from the direct access to space technologies, expert advice and technical facilities. The incubation program provides a comprehensive support program, from financing to research and development, all the way through to market entry. https://esa-bic.de/by/

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