Space Industry Launches Humanitarian Initiative to Support Ukraine

HERNDON, Va. (Space Industry for Ukraine PR) — Leaders of the space community today announced the Space Industry for Ukraine (SIFU), an initiative designed to fund and execute efforts that provide immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. The initiative will be run by a steering committee, which includes HawkEye 360, National Security Space Association (NSSA), ABL Space Systems, ARKA, BlackSky, Capella Space, ICEYE, Insight Partners, Leidos, LeoLabs, Maxar, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Rebellion Defense, Relativity Space, Riverside Research, Rocket Lab, Velos and Viasat. The steering committee will fundraise, select and monitor the execution of critical humanitarian projects throughout Ukraine and its neighboring countries. Additional participating donor companies include The Aerospace Corporation, Cognitive Space and Shield Capital.

“While space-based companies are playing a vital role through collecting and analyzing data of a defense and intelligence nature, we believe there is additional humanitarian value that our space community can provide in supporting the people and government of Ukraine,” said HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini. “After visiting the Poland-Ukraine border last month to assess the crisis situation and identify ways our community can help, I am eager to work in close collaboration with our space industry peers and NGO partners to help deliver critical aid for the people of Ukraine.”

“The national security space community is uniquely positioned to address the horrific atrocities playing out in Ukraine over the past several weeks,” said Steve Jacques, Executive Director of the National Security Space Association. “With SIFU, we intend to go beyond the bounds of traditional strategic support and provide humanitarian aid geared directly towards alleviating suffering and restoring the human dignity of those impacted by the events in Ukraine. NSSA is proud to partner with John Serafini and this outstanding collection of companies as we spearhead this important initiative.”

Through the generous contributions of its members, the SIFU has fundraised to date nearly $1 million. In coordination with the international NGO community and with representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian governments, high-value projects have been structured to be undertaken on short notice to create immediate and material value for the Ukrainian cause. The initial projects include:

  • Acquisition, shipment, and delivery of medical supplies and food supplies to support populations throughout Ukraine and Poland.
  • Communication hardware and operating costs to enable NGOs operating in the region to maximize communication.
  • Construction and operation of mobile medical facilities for treating refugees throughout the region.
  • Supporting evacuation efforts of Ukrainian refugees.

All of the initiative’s humanitarian projects will be managed by global NGOs, with SIFU involvement focused on partner acquisition, project selection, capital distribution and the evaluation of project effectiveness. SIFU is not intended to be a long-term initiative. Rather, the intention is for the initiative to create an immediate impact over three months to support Ukraine’s most pressing needs.

Payam Banazadeh, CEO of Capella Space said, “In addition to our in-theater imaging support to the Government of Ukraine, Capella Space is proud to support humanitarian efforts to provide meaningful support to those civilians impacted most by the continued aggression in Ukraine.”

“All of us at BlackSky are deeply troubled by the loss of life and the displacement of Ukrainian men, women and children due to the crisis,” said Brian E. O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “We are  honored to participate in this initiative and we hope that our collective efforts will bring assistance to those in need.”

“Ukraine and the Ukrainian people remain in dire need of assistance. It is good to see the global space community come together, across borders, in support of this important cause,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO of ICEYE.

“The United Nations (UN) estimates more than 11 million people are displaced in the current conflict,” said Paul Engola, Leidos EVP for National Security Space. “These individuals need housing, medical treatment, access to education and other services. They have lost infrastructure that will take lifetimes to replace. The sheer magnitude of this crisis motivates us to act and do our part to help the Ukrainian people.”

“LeoLabs is proud to partner with NSSA and members of the space industry in this campaign to provide immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine,” said Dan Ceperley, CEO of LeoLabs.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the continued reports of countless, heart-wrenching tragedies experienced by the Ukrainian people is devastating. The defense community must unite to provide humanitarian support and relief to the Ukrainian people affected by this unjust war. Rebellion Defense is honored to be a part of SIFU, and we are committed to providing long-lasting support to Ukraine,” said Rebellion Defense CEO and Co-Founder Chris Lynch.

“We’re proud to stand with SIFU and do our part to support the people of Ukraine. Expanding the possibilities for the human experience is part of our mission and we believe that protecting victims of humanitarian crises around the world is a core, fundamental responsibility we all share,” said Relativity Co-Founder and CEO Tim Ellis.

“As a national security nonprofit, Riverside Research is proud to participate in this important initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Simply put, it is the right thing to do,” said Dr. Steven Omick, President and CEO of Riverside Research.

“The space community is critical to enabling connections for people and governments around the world. As part of this, an important capability of space is supporting humanitarian and emergency response efforts to bring reliable connectivity to first responders and communities when they need it most,” said Craig Miller, President of Viasat Government Systems. “Viasat is extremely proud to join other space industry leaders in collectively committing to support essential humanitarian efforts and NGO organizations in the Ukraine and Poland. Our involvement with SIFU also builds on our work in the region providing free Viasat Community Internet (VCI) to thousands of refugees in Eastern Slovakia.”

“At a time where the geospatial industry is united in a concerted effort to monitor military and economic activities, analyze and explain the situation to decision makers and the general public, and to determine future intent related to the conflict in Ukraine, it’s nice to see our industry also addressing the humanitarian ramifications of the conflict,” said Cognitive Space CEO Scott Herman. “We’re proud to be a part of this effort to help alleviate the refugee crisis in Europe.”

About SIFU (Space Industry for Ukraine)

SIFU is a collective humanitarian effort of the shared space community to create immediate and material value for the Ukrainian cause. Companies in the space ecosystem each make a one-time pledge of $50,000, contributing valuable capital to finance a number of high-value projects such as medical treatment, delivery of food supplies, and supporting transportation costs for evacuation efforts. These projects are managed by qualified and certified NGOs, and are funded and monitored by a steering committee of leading space companies. SIFU is intended to create an immediate impact over 3 months to support Ukraine’s present needs.