The Government yesterday released two new policies that will shape the future of the UK’s growing space industry.
The Government Response to the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) Action Plan 2014 – 2030 and the National Space Security Policy (NSSP) set out plans to achieve a £40 billion UK space industry by 2030 and a coherent approach to protecting the UK’s space assets.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: “The space sector continues to grow, we have delivered on the first round of commitments from the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy, and now, having identified space as one of our 8 Great Technologies to prepare Britain’s economy for the future, we are setting our course for the challenges ahead. I am very proud that this Government can endorse the next phase of the Growth Action Plan and to share the ambitions that will make space part of our national infrastructure.”
Matt Perkins Chair of UKspace said: “The space sector has huge potential and the strong government endorsement of this strategy provides a pathway to achieving increased economic benefit for the UK and growth for the UK space industry. The whole of the space industry are now ready to drive through their part of the Space Growth Action Plan and deliver the ambitions and aggressive growth targets that we have set”
The Government Response to the Space IGS Action Plan
The Government has broadly welcomed all of the suggestions made in the IGS and in addition to committing stronger support for export and agreeing further work to improve regulatory framework for space activity, the response also incorporates measures to create and sustain new business in related markets, including the development of a vibrant regional SME community spread across the UK.
Actions emerging from the IGS include:
The Government will finalise the changes to the Outer Space Act limit on third party liability in 2014, and the UK Space Agency will review the UK approach to regulation of cubesats and other small satellites. This will improve the UK space sector’s international competitiveness.
The UK Space Agency will simplify the process of obtaining satellite licenses, including working with Ofcom to see if a commitment to a swifter and more seamless process could be delivered and reviewing the economic cost of delivering the space licensing regime and fees.
Government will continue work to deliver a regulatory environment that promotes enterprise and inward investment in the UK. This response acknowledges the challenges of a global market and the government will work with new entrants into the market to ensure that inward investment means the creation of jobs and returns for the UK economy.
In July 2014, the UK Space Agency will issue the first results from the work of a cross-government National Space Flight Coordination Group that was set up to take forward the ambition of developing a UK space port and starting commercial space flight from the UK.
The UK Space Agency will double the funding level of the UK Space for Smarter Government Programme annually from April 2014. The programme will unlock the potential of space to make the delivery of public sector services more effective and efficient.
The Knowledge Transfer Network has established a dedicated space domain within its new structure, creating a bespoke knowledge transfer network community for space.
National Space Security Policy
The National Space Security Policy sets out a coherent approach to the UK’s space security interests and outlines measures to make the United Kingdom more resilient to the risk of disruption to space services and capabilities, enhance our national security interests through space, promote a safe and more secure space environment and enable industry and academia to exploit science and grasp commercial opportunities.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said: “This first space security policy document highlights the right challenges and brings together the right people, blending expertise from Whitehall, from industry, from academia to ensure the UK’s access to the space services we need. This strategy is about galvanising our skills, our resources and our raw talent to promote resilience to the risks of operating in space – in both the civilian and military spheres.”
Matt Perkins added: “I fully support the launch of the national space security policy: this is complementary to the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy and underscores the importance of space to our national security and defence interests. The space industry particularly welcomes the principle of economic growth and space security considerations going hand in hand. We now have clear direction from government on space security and the recognition of industry’s strong expertise in this area- we are delighted to be a key partner in delivering the policy”.
In implementing the National Space Security Policy, some of the early priorities will include mapping our dependency on space across government, critical infrastructure and key industrial sectors and assessing the extent of resilience in each of these fields.
There will also be collaboration across government and with national and international partners to share capability where it is possible to do so, particularly in the fields of tracking space debris and near Earth objects.
About the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy
The Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) 2014 – 2030: Space Growth Action Plan was released in November 2013. It comes three years after the Space Innovation & Growth Strategy (IGS), published in February 2010. The IGS sets out the UK space sector’s strategy to achieve a goal of growing the UK share of the global space market to 10% by 2030. The Action Plan proposed measures designed to enable the UK to develop an even more supportive business environment in which space companies can deliver growth and benefit to the national economy. The government response supports all recommendations made by industry in the reports.
UKspace is the trade association of the UK space industry, with a mission to promote the best commercial, political and public environment for the UK space industry. UKspace is sponsored jointly by ADS and techUK encapsulating both the upstream and downstream nature of the space sector. For more information on the UK space industry visit the UKspace website at www.ukspace.org.
For further information, please contact:
Paul Flanagan, Secretary General UKspace
Mobile: 07879 667001